Rye Whiskey Old-Fashioned Cocktail


Here in Eastern Wisconsin, there is no cocktail more popular than the classic Old-Fashioned. Walk into any supper club, and your barmaid will immediately serve you one made with Jero® Old-Fashioned mix and Kessler’s® rail whiskey. I’m convulsing as i write this; in my opinion, it’s an instant fail — shame on the restaurant or bar for trying to cut corners to save some time and money with a subpar product. Make yours with authentic bitters and a premium bourbon or rye whiskey. You’ll immediately be impressed by the difference in quality.

This is my version of a classic — enjoy among friends.

 

Ingredients:

2 oz. premium rye whiskey or bourbon (I prefer Templeton® Rye)
1/2 tsp. packed brown sugar
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
1 orange peel
1 lemon peel
Ginger ale (by volume to taste)
2 Maraschino cherries (or, for the classic Wisconsin garnish – two olives and eliminate the brown sugar)
2 ice cubes

Cocktail glass and toothpick

 

Preparation:

Using a chilled cocktail glass, add the brown sugar and bitters. Run the lemon and orange peel around the rim of the glass and drop them in. Add two ice cubes, the bourbon or rye and ginger ale, by volume, to taste. Stir gently with a spoon and add your garnish on a toothpick.

Optional:  Add a splash of the liquid from the Maraschino cherry jar.

Makes one drink – wasn’t that easy?

The Classic Manhattan – A Real Man’s Cocktail


Culinary Compost - Cherry Bounce Bourbon Manhattan

A proper Manhattan made with Cherry Bourbon Bounce. For this cocktail, I used dry vermouth, due to the amount of infused sugar in the bounce liquor.

You can’t go wrong with a Manhattan cocktail – this drink is a classic, named after one of New York City’s five boroughs. The quintessential man’s drink, it exudes sophistication and refined taste. My preferred liquor: Templeton rye whiskey, Knob Creek or Woodford Reserve bourbon. Enjoy in moderation. Click here for the Cherry Bourbon Bounce liquor version of this drink.

Classic Manhattan:

2 oz. rye, bourbon or blended Canadian whiskey
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry

Stir the liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.

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Perfect Manhattan:

2-1/2 oz. rye, bourbon or blended Canadian whiskey
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon twist

Stir the liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Run the lemon peel around the rim, twist it over the drink, and drop it in.

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Sweet Manhattan:

2 oz. rye, bourbon or blended Canadian whiskey
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon twist

Stir the liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Run the lemon peel around the rim, twist it over the drink, and drop it in.

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Dry Manhattan:

Some consider this version an oxymoron, as the quintessential Manhattan is, by definition, a sweet vermouth-based drink.

2 oz. rye, bourbon or blended Canadian whiskey
3/4 oz. dry vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon twist

Stir the liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Run the lemon peel around the rim, twist it over the drink, and drop it in.

Cherry Bourbon Bounce



door county cherry bounce - culinary compost food blogThe end of July heralds the start of cherry-picking season in Door County Wisconsin — the boozy recipe featured here is classic Americana, dating back to the time of George Washington. This was one of his favorite indulgences brought from England — it is reported that Martha would always pack a decanter of Cherry Bounce for him when he traveled. It was traditionally made with fine French Brandy and crushed cherries with pits. Knowing that cherry pits and other orchard fruit pits contain trace amounts of hydrogen cyanide, I prefer to leave them out. (I suspect it’s also the reason our first President had wooden teeth.)

The cherry crop in Door County has been decimated by bitter cold the last two years in January. Many trees have succumbed to the -20°F prolonged killing temperature, adding to market demand. I was lucky enough to find a quart of whole tart cherries from Robertson’s Orchard at a farmer’s market in downtown Green Bay last weekend. I quickly put them to good use.

My alcohol vice — 100-proof bourbon. This recipe is also stellar with brandy, rye whiskey, rum, vodka, and even tequila. Let it happily infuse until Christmas — then share with friends by making Manhattans, and serve the halved cherries in the drinks as a garnish, or over ice cream. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 quart whole tart Door County Wisconsin cherries, with pits (halve and discard pits)
4 cups bourbon, or your choice of liquor
1/2 cup white sugar

 

Directions:

Purchase the freshest cherries you can find. Whole tart cherries work best because you are going to be adding sugar to the infusion. Select a two-quart glass container with a sturdy lid. Wash the container and lid in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly.

Using a colander, wash the cherries thoroughly in cold water. Drain.
Using a sharp, thin paring knife, slit each cherry around the circumference and discard the pit. Add to the glass jar. Pour in four cups of bourbon and then the sugar.

Seal the jar. Invert and stir gently, then let sit in a cool, dark closet or basement. Invert the bottle and stir weekly so the sugar infuses. Open no sooner than Christmas-time.

Serve the liquor in traditional Manhattans.

 

door county bourbon cherry bounce

Wash the cherries, pit, and then add to the jar.
The jar shown is an antique 1/2-gallon milk container made in 1954.

bouce-with-booze-bottle

Use your favorite alcohol — it also doesn’t have to be expensive;
shown is mid-priced Bulleit bourbon.

Door county cherry bounce

I purchased a premium cork stopper from Portugal, which matched the diameter of the opening on my antique glass jar. I then sealed it with melted natural beeswax.

Culinary Compost - Cherry Bounce Bourbon Manhattan

A proper Manhattan made with Cherry Bourbon Bounce. For this cocktail, I used dry vermouth, due to the amount of infused sugar in the bounce liquor.

Ginger and Green Tea with Honey


Feeling a head cold coming on? Bolster your immune system with this natural, healthy drink.

Ingredients:

1/2-inch chunk of raw ginger root, peeled and grated fine
1 single-serving green tea bag (I highly recommend Tazo by Starbucks)
1/2 tsp. honey
Boiling filtered water

Directions:

Wash, peel and fine-grate the ginger. Place in a cup with the tea bag. Pour boiling water into cup and let steep for 4 minutes, then strain.

Add the honey and mix to incorporate. Drink while hot. Repeat as needed.

I usually combine this with a chunk of raw garlic chewed immediately after. I also add 1,000mg of Vitamin-C to my regimen if I feel a really bad cold coming on. Concerning the garlic, you probably won’t earn any points with your spouse, but it beats getting sick!

The Dark Horse Bloody Mary


The Bloody Mary is in a class by itself. Here is my version. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 shots premium Vodka
1 4oz. can Sacramento® tomato juice
Dash of Lea & Perrins® Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. Silver Spring® prepared horseradish
1 drop liquid smoke hickory seasoning
Dash of Tabasco® sauce
Dash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Large rock glass
Ice

Garnish: garlic-stuffed olives, celery stalk or my spicy pickled beans

 

Directions:

Add the contents to a pint mason jar and seal tightly. Shake vigorously. Serve in a cocktail glass with your choice of vegetables.

For a Clam Digger, substitute Clamato juice for the tomato juice.

El Mejor Margarita on the Rocks


El Mejor Margarita on the Rocks | Culinary Compost Drink Recipes

You can use a quality Blanco or Reposado tequila. Either one works well. I prefer the Reposado for its refined character. Do not use Anejo — tequila that fine should be savored straight in a shot glass.

There’s nothing quite like getting tanked on a Margarita bigger than your head. Enjoy in moderation.  This recipe will fill one grande Margarita glass. Please refrain from making this with rail Jose Cuervo… I’m trusting you’re better than that.

 

Ingredients:

Two 1.5 oz. shots of premium tequila (blanco or reposado)
Drizzle of Triple Sec (about one teaspoon)
Juice from 1/2 fresh lime
1 tbs. powdered sugar, to taste
5 large ice cubes
Kosher salt for rim of glass

 

Preparation:

Using a sharp paring knife, cut the lime in half and then cut an eighth wedge.  Reserve the wedge for the glass rim. Squeeze the rest of the lime into a measuring cup and divide by half. Add 1/2 lime juice with the other ingredients to a pint Mason jar. Seal tightly and shake well until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a chilled Margarita glass rimmed with lime juice and salt. Reserve any remaining booze by placing the sealed Mason jar in your freezer for no more than 1/2 hour.

This is a STRONG cocktail. Enjoy with reservation.

Take care not to chip the glass when pouring the ice.
Take care not to chip your teeth when passing out on the kitchen floor.

Note: I like the infusion of the lime to take center stage. If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, add a bit more powdered sugar.