With the onset of cooler weather, I thought that a spiced bourbon would make for some pretty tasty cocktails, and I was right. Try out this recipe for spiced bourbon and you’ll agree.
To begin with, use a decent bourbon (Maker’s, Evan Williams Single Barrel will do). To make the spiced bourbon, you can use whatever spices you want-it’s all about personal taste. But since my personal taste is better than yours, you should follow these guidelines. For the infusion I chose cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Whatever spices you choose, use the whole (not ground) versions. If you do use nutmeg, crack the nut – don’t leave it whole. I wrapped mine in cheesecloth and let them steep in the bourbon.
The key to this project is daily tasting. Each spice will infuse its flavor at a different rate of speed, so you may have to add or remove them during the process. When it tastes right, remove the spices. If you wrap each spice separately in cheesecloth, it will be much easier to add or remove them.
Here’s the breakdown of ingredients in this case:
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 nuts of nutmeg (cracked)
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. clove – clove comes on strong. I had to pull mine out after 3 days to keep everything balanced. The cinnamon and nutmeg took longer to impart their flavors.
I let my spices steep in the bourbon for seven days, but you could go longer or shorter depending on how intense you want the final product; I came up with two drinks for this, both served hot.
Spiced Bourbon Cider
Use 1 part spiced bourbon and 2 parts apple cider, then heat in a microwave.
Wipe a lemon wedge around the rim of the glass and put a spoonful or so of Sugar in the Raw on a plate and rub the rim of the glass over it. This step is key-you need the sweetness of the sugar to balance out the spice of the bourbon.
Once the cider/bourbon mixture is finished in the microwave, squeeze a lemon wedge over it and add a teaspoon of honey. If you want to go balls deep, you can top it off with whipped cream, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Spiced Bourbon Old Fashioned with Blood Orange
You can make this with regular oranges, but it won’t be nearly as good. To start, wipe the rim of the glass with a slice of Blood Orange. Then, coat the rim with Sugar in the Raw – I added a bit of cinnamon as well to liven things up. If you want to avoid the mess of coating the rim with sugar, muddle it in with the orange and cherries.
Heat about 2.5 ounces of your bourbon.
Next, muddle a couple maraschino cherries and a decent slice of Blood Orange, along with a teaspoon of Maraschino Cherry juice if you have a sweet tooth. I also tossed in a quarter ounce of Blood Orange juice to make it more user-friendly.
Pour in the hot spiced bourbon.
Add a splash of club soda; it really cleans up the taste of the drink and prevents it from being too sticky-tasting.
On a final note; go easy on the Blood Orange! It has an intense flavor, so if you add too much, you’ll wind up with a hot spicy orange juice.