We’ve only got one week left in September so I figured it was better to tell you bros late than to not mention it at all: September is ‘Bourbon Heritage Month’. What does that mean for you? It means that you have one week left to drink as much bourbon as humanly possible AND to start investing in your bourbon glassware (flasks, glasses, etc).
For the sake of this article I’m going to just assume that since you’re reading this you’ve already drank bourbon and are a fan of drinking bourbon, and now that we’ve established that let’s look at some of the best bourbons on the market, a few bourbon-based cocktail recipes, and the glassware that you should be using to drink all of that. Each of the ‘best bourbons of 2015’ that I mention below are bourbons that I have come to both know and love over the years, some of these you probably know intimately as well. Along with each of the bourbons I’ve listed below I’ve included a cocktail recipe as well as suggested glassware. That latter part is important, bros, DO NOT SKIMP AND BUY CHEAP BOURBON GLASSES, invest in some good glassware and your life will be improved tenfold.
Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
Since the first moment I tasted Basil Hayden’s (about 8 or 9 years ago, around the time I very first moved to New York City from Florida) I was hooked. And I gotta tell you bros one thing: once you find your favorite sipping bourbon your life becomes A WHOLE LOT SIMPLER AND MORE PLEASANT. No longer do you need to comb over a drink menu and have to make difficult decisions, once you’ve found your favorite bourbon (Basil Hayden’s) you can quit with the decision making and get to the drinking, which is amazing. Here’s a little bit on the history of Basil Hayden’s:
“The is a bourbon rich in both history and tradition, making it the ideal choice to celebrate the heritage of America’s Native Spirit. Basil Hayden’s is derived from a family recipe dating back to 1796, when Master Distiller Basil Hayden Sr. wanted to break the traditional rules and craft a unique bourbon.”
I prefer to drink my Basil Hayden’s either neat or with one (large) ice ball. Here’s a quick cocktail recipe for Basil Hayden’s along with the suggested glassware and the ice ball kit (so you can have those ice balls handy at home). If you’re not planning on ever using this bourbon to make a cocktail then this is the suggested glassware (it’s VERY affordable).
The Basil Hayden’s Louisville Skyline (Recipe by Damien Cooke, Louisville, KY.): this is a cocktail that pays homage to the birthplace of Bourbon: Kentucky
I’m not saying this is something that you should be drinking on the regular, but if you’re hosting anyone that you’re looking to impress then this is a fantastic cocktail to make in order to accomplish that goal.
2 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
½ parts Carpano Antica Vermouth
¼ parts Contratto® Aperitif
2 dashes Chocolate Bitters
Orange Twist (for garnish)
1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin with ice and stir.
2. Strain into a coupe glass.
3. Garnish with an orange twist.
Things you should consider purchasing for this cocktail include the following:
And if you’re planning on just drinking your Basil Hayden’s on the rocks and not in a cocktail here’s that Ice Ball Maker I mentioned before:
Booker’s Bourbon ‘Oven Buster Batch’
Next up on my list of the Best Bourbons of 2015 is the Cask Strength Booker’s, aka the fourth batch in the Booker’s® Bourbon limited-edition collection, “Oven Buster Batch”. This one’s only been on the market for a about a month now, so chances are you haven’t had the chance to sample it yet (we have), but I’m here to tell you that this ‘Oven Buster Batch’ from Booker’s is worth tracking down.
Here’s the backstory behind the name of Booker’s Bourbon ‘Oven Buster Batch’:
“Year’s ago, when Annis, Booker’s wife, was preparing a pork roast, she mistakenly reached for a bottle of Booker’s, and the high proof of the liquid caused the oven to spark and the door to fly open! Like all bottles of Booker’s Bourbon, “Oven Buster Batch” is bottled uncut at its natural proof and is best enjoyed neat or with a splash of water.”
Now Booker’s Bourbon ‘Oven Buster Batch’ is a bourbon that’s suggested to be drank either neat or with just a splash of water, so there’s no corresponding cocktail recipe here. But I have included a nice flask as well as some more glassware that you should consider purchasing to drink this rare and exquisite Booker’s Bourbon out of:
Knob Creek (The Entire Product Line)
As you might have seen on the BroBible Instagram, last week we were fortunate enough to have a team from Knob Creek swing by the office for an ‘Old Fashioned Tasting’, where we each drank 4 or 5 Old Fashioned cocktails, some traditional and some pretty progressive. Until they came by the office and we got to drinking I’d actually forgotten how much I love and enjoy the entire product line from Knob Creek, from the Single Barrel and Straight Bourbon Whiskey to the more exotic offerings such as as the Knob Creek Smoked Maple (which is used in the recipe below):
Knob Creek Sweet & Smoky Old Fashioned:
This is actually a new take on a timeless cocktail recipe that was created by James Beard Award winner and celebrity chef Michael Symon this year. The bitters in this cocktail can be purchased from that set above of exotic bitters, and below I’ve included another option for affordable Old Fashioned glasses.
1 1/2 Parts Knob Creek® Smoked Maple Bourbon
1/2 Teaspoon Raw Sugar
1/2 Part Madeira
1/4 Teaspoon Curry Powder
3 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
Candied Bacon for Garnish
1. Add sugar, curry powder and chocolate bitters to a rocks glass and muddle.
2. Add all other ingredients, then add ice, stir and garnish with candied bacon.
So, my bros, I hope you enjoyed this because I figured this might be a nice change of pace from the usual ‘Things We Want Today’ blog I do each day, where I feature one single item. Instead I got the chance to feature up multiple options in both bourbon and glassware (and a few other things), and hopefully with this post you’ll be able to go forth into the rest of September ‘Bourbon Heritage Month’ and drink some new bourbon out of some new glassware and maybe even make a new cocktail!