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Gillman
08-20-2006, 16:41
In recent experiments trying different flavors with bourbon, I have found orange to be one of the most pleasant. The flavors seem to "synergize" (is that a verb?). Lemon doesn't work as well although the lemon-based whiskey sour, and its correlative the bourbon sour, is an acknowledged star in the constellation of cocktails. The flavor of orange is more subtle than that of lemon. Putting things another way, lemon works as well if you add more sugar than if using orange.

At first, I tried to dispense with sugar or other sweetenings when using orange. E.g., I'd add orange bitters only, or a dash of Charbay blood orange vodka, or a measure of fresh orange juice. All these imparted good orange flavor and melded well with the whiskey. But the citric addition upset the natural balance of the whiskey, its sweetness quotient that is.

By adding a touch of sugar or syrup to the orange-infused bourbon (or straight rye or a mixture of straight whiskeys and sometimes other whiskeys), this re-established the balance which the whiskey had its own. In effect I created an Old-Fashioned. But I did it from the ground up, sussing out its internal logic as it were.

Apricot works very well with bourbon; so does peach. Dark fruits do not, however. A blueberry Old-Fashioned? I don't think so... A possible, nay probable, exception is that prune-like flavors work well with rye whiskey or a whiskey in which the rye element dominates.

Gary

scratchline
08-20-2006, 19:42
I second the apricot brandy endorsement. Last Monday, while smoking a couple of pork butts, a friend and I enjoyed a couple of Santa Barbara cocktails and a couple of Dallas Texans. Both were quite good, with the Texans a stand out, and they both paired citrus, grapefruit in one case, lime in the other, with bourbon and apricot brandy. The Texan also included some grenadine.

I agree that the trick with sours of all stripes is to prevent the citrus from overpowering the drink. I have a brother who is a devoted scotch drinker and when I make him bourbon or rye sours, he takes so little sugar with it that in my opinion you can't really pick up the whiskey at all.

By the same token, some bourbons are so sweet themselves that sweet vermouth seems beside the point when mixing Manhattans. I've learned the hard way to go very easy with the vermouth, particularly more unusual brands like Vya and Punt e Mes. I often like perfect Manhattans, as the addition of just a little dry vermouth yields a drink more balanced to my palate. Noilly Prat is my fall back choice.

If you like the orange/bourbon combo, Gary, you really need to get hold of some old Amer Picon.

http://cocktaildb.com/ingr_detail?id=17

It's a great substitute for vermouth in a Manhattan, although you might need a little sugar to take the edge off the bitterness. Flame an orange twist over the whole thing and you've got a very special cocktail.

-Mike

Gillman
08-20-2006, 21:06
Thanks for that, the combination of apricot brandy and bourbon sounds really good. Is Amer Picon still made? Another option is orange curacao, which is sweetish I think, or Cointreau, but bitters might be necessary with them, and vermouth, to get closer to an Amer Picon taste.

Gary

TomH
08-21-2006, 18:41
Gary,

Doesn't surprise me that you find orange to be one of the best fruit enhancements. Compass Box has an orange infused (using orange peel and spices) scotch, Orangerie, that is quite good for a change.

Tom

Gillman
08-21-2006, 18:53
Thanks Tom, I'd like to try Orangerie, I like all the Compass Box whiskies I've tried but never found that one.

This is a fine company with a penchant for innovation.

I also want to try its Spice Tree, rather rare because now withdrawn due to objection by Scotch Whisky Association. It had to do with the way the whisky (a vatted malt) was finished (see last Malt Advocate for more details).

Gary

cas
08-22-2006, 05:32
I recently moved and was trying to finish off some of the partial bottles in my cabinet rather than try to pack them. I mixed a little Cointreau with Buffalo Trace and found this a very pleasant combination on a hot day. I managed to finish both bottles...
Craig

Gillman
08-22-2006, 06:01
I did something similar with some Henry McKenna BIB. I added a dash water and then a light dash of Charbay blood orange vodka. Half-teaspoon loose brown sugar. (I find if you swirl the glass well even granulated sugar will dissolve, it just takes longer than for syrup). In this case I added rocks which brought out the orange/corn flavours. Very nice cocktail.

Gary

TnSquire
08-22-2006, 09:04
I have mixed bourbon with Orangina with decent results. I tried triple sec one time.....I wouldnt advise it.

scratchline
08-23-2006, 11:38
Amer Picon is still being made, but from what I understand at a lower proof and reduced quality. I recommend trying to find an old forgotten bottle. Evidently in France, a little is added to a beer for a Picon Bier.

Torani Amer which is sometimes suggested as an alternative is very different from true Amer Picon.

Edward_call_me_Ed
10-06-2006, 02:23
At first, I tried to dispense with sugar or other sweetenings when using orange. E.g., I'd add orange bitters only, or a dash of Charbay blood orange vodka, or a measure of fresh orange juice. All these imparted good orange flavor and melded well with the whiskey. But the citric addition upset the natural balance of the whiskey, its sweetness quotient that is.
Gary

Hi Gary,
If the citric acid present in orange juice is something you would like to avoid rather than mask with sugar why don't you try orange extract?
I haven't tried this since I don't have any at home and haven't remembered to pick it up when I was at the store. I have mentioned elsewhere that I add a few drops of lemon extract to margaritas and find it makes a world of difference. I think I will try some lemon extract with some bourbon later tonight, just to see what happens...
Ed

TBoner
04-01-2007, 15:05
As part of my homebrewing hobby, I started making limoncello last summer. A terrific warm weather addition to cocktails, but also great on its own as a digestivo.
The limoncello went so well, I decided to give a few other citrus fruits a go. First up, tangelos. While not an orange, they have a certain sweetness that's closer to that of an orange, but with a nice acidity that ties them to tangerines (of course) and also to lemons. Of course, there is sugar in limoncello (and tangelocello...has to be a better word), but I find both of these to be a terrific complement to bourbons, especially those w/high rye content. The current OGD BIB is a product that in particular seems to meld with both of these beverages (I prefer the ND OGD neat).
I have orangecello and blood orangecello in the pipeline. I'll report back on the results.

ratcheer
04-01-2007, 17:36
Tboner, please tell us a little more, in general, what these ~~cello beverages are. I have heard of lemoncello, but I have no idea what it is.

Thanks,
Tim

TBoner
04-01-2007, 19:27
Limoncello is a lemon liqueur, a traditional beverage in Italy.
The lemons along the Amalfi coast are bountiful, and it's not exactly a hand fruit. So, people make lemonade. And limoncello.
Essentially, the process is to remove the peels of about a dozen large lemons (only the yellow part - the white pith is bitter) and add them to a bottle of grain alcohol and a bottle of vodka. Allow to steep until maximum flavor and color extraction occurs. Then dilute to about 90-proof with simple syrup (sugar and water).
In recent years, limoncello has become more popular stateside, and it's trendy to bottle things such as orangecello, razzcello, etc. Realistically, though, citrus is the best way to go in terms of homemade (minimal filtering, fast and easy process).

I followed the procedure as described by Deborah Horn outlined here. (http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs/limonce0.htm)

I used a mixture of organic lemons and Meyer lemons (slightly sweeter than most American lemons) to get close to the character of Italian lemons. I bottled mine in icewine bottles with tasters' corks and gave it as Christmas gifts...keeping several bottles for me, of course.

If you can find a good limoncello or orangecello, I highly recommend it.

ratcheer
04-02-2007, 15:33
Thanks. I suppose that is exactly what I thought it would be, but I really didn't know.

Tim

chperry
04-03-2007, 18:47
I like a dash or two of Regan's Orange Bitters in a measure of bourbon for a change of pace. I find the orange flavor compiments the flavours of the bourbon.

polyamnesia
11-24-2007, 14:12
this thread seemed a good place to continue the discussion of melding bourbon with other flavors, either as cocktail or ... homemade liqueur.

before i saw this (hence, why i did a search!), i was thinking about doing something with that HH 4y i got and complained about last night:cool:

anyways, was thinking of plopping something sugary in it like (as mentioned before) peppermint sticks or maybe a Brach's butterscotch...or Red Hots?

how long would it take for the candy to dissolve?

and then, as i was making some trail mix, i realized i had a small stash of dried orange peel...hmmm. what would THAT impart to a bourbon? maybe in conjunction with the peppermint...?

i'm less interested in the instant (cocktail) mix, but rather the homemade liqueur. any other ideas for "flavoring" whiskey in a respectable, interesting way?
andy

p.s.

i still have some limoncello from italy my in-laws brought back...how would it meld?

Gillman
11-24-2007, 14:48
Flavoring whisky is as old as the hills and was very common in early days when whisky was often young and less palatable than today.

That HH 4 would make a great rock 'n bourbon (like rock 'n rye except with bourbon).

I know some here have devised their own rock and rye, I once had some Lenell made which was sensational.

Orange peel is just a start, I'd add other citrus (fresh slices), maybe pineapple, a cherry or two, sugar or honey or gomme to taste. Also, I would add another whiskey - or brandy - to the mix (any kind).

Let it steep and you will have a fine liqueur-like drink which can be the basis for cocktails, or drunk on its own in the winter, or
with soda and ice added...

Gary

gr8erdane
11-25-2007, 05:03
I spent one evening a while back chatting in the Gazebo with a mixture of bourbon and DeKuyper's Apple Pucker, about three to one mix. I was wanting something different and that was perfect for the night in question. Went down way too easy though and I almost forgot where the bathroom was in my own house....

cowdery
11-27-2007, 10:48
One time while visiting Jack Daniel's, I talked to one of the workers there who had taken a bottle of Jack Black, broken up three or four candy canes in it, and was carrying it around in his overalls all day to keep it agitated. By the end of the day, the candy was dissolved.

If you want to try this at home and don't want to carry the bottle around, just leave it someplace where you will pass by it often, and each time you do, give it a shake. The candy should dissolve in a day or so.

texascarl
12-01-2007, 19:06
Just bought several bottles of Regan's Orange Bitters, one for me and the others as presents. Very nice indeed! Now...if the fine folks at Buffalo Trace who're marketing the bitters online will just sell me some Buffalo Trace bourbon. We feel neglected hereabouts.

ILLfarmboy
12-01-2007, 19:57
Just bought several bottles of Regan's Orange Bitters, one for me and the others as presents. Very nice indeed! Now...if the fine folks at Buffalo Trace who're marketing the bitters online will just sell me some Buffalo Trace bourbon. We feel neglected hereabouts.

I can find Buffalo Trace localy but the only bitters I am ever able to find is angostura.

As a side note I have to drive nearly an hour and twenty minutes to find Noilly Prat vermouth.