While we’re in the camp that prefers sipping firewater neat while wearing jeans and a sweater, we’ve warmed up to the idea of bourbon combined with some tasty additions on ice. Made with new premium bourbons, these libations are served over a single jumbo rock to ensure that the liquid stays cold and flavors bright. Slip into something comfortable, turn down the thermostat and enjoy. — June Naylor
Balcones Distilling’s Texas Pot Still Bourbon is a fairly new release from the Waco distillery. It has some oak in the nose and candied pecan and cream on the palate, with spice that proves the right foil for the subtle tartness of blackberries, lime and mint. We add a bit of fizz to top it off.
- 1/3 cup fresh blackberries
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 4 ounces Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon
- Twist of Lime Topo Chico
- Blackberries, mint sprigs and lime wheels for garnish
In a shaker, muddle berries and mint leaves with lime juice.
Add bourbon and ice, shaking just to chill and blend. Strain into 2 double old-fashioned glasses, each filled with 1 large ice sphere. Top with Topo Chico; garnish with a couple of berries, mint sprigs and lime wheels.
You’ll find the newest Maker’s Mark Private Select bourbon at Perini Ranch Steakhouse. Owners Tom and Lisa Perini visited Kentucky to handpick from Maker’s proprietary staves to create their own bourbon blend. The caramel and honey notes pair with tangy lemon and ginger, plus there’s a smidge of simple syrup in this signature cocktail offered at the steakhouse, 3002 FM 89, Buffalo Gap, just south of Abilene.
Buffalo Gap Ginger Snap
- 4 ounces Private Select or another premium Maker’s Mark bourbon
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 2 thin slices ginger
- Ginger beer
- Orange wheels for garnish
Shake bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and ginger in a shaker with ice until very cold. Strain into 2 double old-fashioned glasses, each holding 1 big cube of ice. Top with a splash of ginger beer and garnish with orange wheel.