Bourbon goes with many things, but apples, cinnamon and chocolate top my pairings list. For the bourbon in this cocktail, I used Ranger Creek’s .36 Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey which gently nips but doesn’t bite. It brings the flavors of vanilla, cinnamon and a touch of oak. If you choose a different bourbon, I suggest something that isn’t overly smooth. I used Bigallet China-China Amer as a modifier. Alone, this liqueur tastes of bitter orange, citrus, and cherries with an earthy, root touch similar to cola, (think bourbon and coke). I added the bitters for complexity and to introduce chocolate, additional cinnamon and a bit of dried fruit from the fig bitters.
The nose of this Manhattan-esque cocktail is bright orange, fruit, vanilla and cinnamon. The initial flavors are apple, vanilla with a touch of oak, followed by chocolate, dried fruit and a bit of spice. The earthy tone comes late and the finish is fruit, spice, cinnamon and vanilla. As noted below, don’t get this cocktail too sweet.
- 1 oz. Bourbon
- 1 oz. Laird’s Applejack
- 1/4 oz. Bigallet China-China Amer
- 1-2 dashes 2:1 Demerara simple syrup – depending on the sweetness of your maraschino cherries
- 1 dash Fees Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
- 1 dash Brooklyn Hemispherical Black Mission Fig Bitters
- Orange peel for garnish
- Maraschino cherry for garnish
- Chill a coup or other stemmed cocktail glass with ice and water
- Combine all of the ingredients except the garnishes in a mixing glass with ice
- Stir to chill and strain into chilled glass
- Express orange peel and discard
- Add cherry