Bourbon Trail in New York

Last night, our Nobler Travel Guru, Joe walked the group through his recent trip to the Bourbon Trail. We’ll be highlighting his trip on the site as well and you can read the first of his mini-series on how to plan the perfect visit here. We tried some really exciting stuff last night including one of the limited offerings coming out of Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Project. If you haven’t heard about Orphan Barrel, the concept is really cool. Diageo is sourcing un-allocated, “forgotten” barrels to offer up very limited release quantities of top quality whiskey. One of their first was this Barterhouse Bourbon which showcases a 1993 distillate from a Bernheim distillery in Kentucky. 20 years in the barrel rounds this sucker out quite nicely making it one of the better sipping bourbons I’ve had in a while. Definitely worth a shot if you can snag one of the remaining bottles.

As for the other major highlight of last night (besides the KFC of course), we mixed up a handful of the growing in fame, Bufala Negra cocktails and man was I pumped to share this one with you all. Balsamic vinegar and basil is a perfect pairing that you’ve probably enjoyed hundreds of times over mozzarella cheese or with fresh tomatoes. But in a bourbon cocktail? Turns out, the fantastic bartender, Jerry Slater of H. Harper’s Station in Atlanta helped create this amazing flavor balance back during his time in Louisville where the realization that bourbon and basil were a real match (bet they’d love my basil julep as well!), really took off with the addition of balsamic and ginger. Louisville’s Oakroom, famous for being the house where Al Capone was often spotted playing poker in the 20s, uses a ginger ale but lots of variations using ginger beer have developed as well. We used the former last night, but I’m anxious to try the same recipe with the ginger beer to bring more of a bite to the overall experience.

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Either way, you are going to want to try this one out ASAP. It’s definitely one of my new favorites!

Bufala Negra

4 basil leaves

1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar

1/2 oz simple syrup

1 1/2 oz bourbon

1 1/2 oz ginger ale or ginger beer

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake the basil, balsamic, simple syrup, and bourbon together to combine. Shake for a good 30 seconds to extract the basil flavor effectively. Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube and finish with the ginger ale/beer and a basil leaf for garnish. 

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