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- 1 1/2 parts Knob Creek® Bourbon
- 1/2 part lemon juice
- 1/2 part simple syrup
- 2 parts Orangina
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 1 egg white
Muddle thyme and simple syrup thoroughly in the bottom of a shaker. Combine with lemon juice, Knob Creek® Bourbon, and egg white. Add ice and shake vigorously for one minute. Strain over ice and float with Orangina® soda. Garnish with a few sprigs of thyme.
Simple and fascinating, few cocktails can beat the old-fashioned. The recipe is unbelievably easy, accenting bourbon with sugar and bitters, as well as orange and soda if you like. The iconic drink is a great choice when you want to slightly enhance your bourbon and really let the whiskey's subtle nuances shine.
Though it's a must for the Kentucky Derby, the popular mint julep is a fabulous choice year-round. The mint acts as a cooling contrast to a smooth, bold whiskey, and the sugar brings the two together wonderfully. The flavor is surprisingly complex considering the classic recipe requires just three ingredients.
The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
Pour the bourbon, lemon juice, and syrup into a collins glass filled with ice cubes.
Garnish with a cherry and orange slice. Serve and enjoy.
- You can also shake this drink. To do so, secure a mixing tin on top of the glass and give the mix a quick shake prior to adding the soda.
More Tips for Making a Great John Collins
Bourbon is often preferred for the John Collins though it can be made with other styles of whiskey as well. Canadian, rye, and blended whiskeys are all popular options.
Irish whiskey is another possibility and you will want to be very selective if you want to use Scotch. A good blended Scotch may be best because it is a little more neutral than many of the other brands, particularly single malts.
In all 'Collins' drinks, there are two basic options for creating the sour component.
- Make it with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup as in the recipe above.
- Replace those two ingredients with a fresh-made sour mix (or commercial sour that is available at most liquor stores).
To keep a nice balance in the drink, it really is best to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice. By separating the sweet and sour, you have more control. You'll want that, especially as you experiment with whiskeys because you can adjust the two elements to fit the liquor you're pouring at the moment.
How Strong Is the John Collins?
Estimating the strength of a highball like the John Collins is difficult because the amount of soda poured is the unknown. On average, 2 ounces of soda is used to fill the glass, though this can be more or less given the bartender's pour style and size of the glass.
If we use an 80-proof whiskey and count on 2 ounces of soda, then the John Collins would have an alcohol content of around 11 percent ABV (22 proof). If you would like it a little weaker or stronger, add more soda or whiskey accordingly.
Exploring the Collins Family
There are many 'Collins' drinks that vary due to the base liquor used and all of them are good drinks to memorize. To remember the difference between the John and Tom Collins, I think of "John" as the macho whiskey drinker (also the Jimmy Dean song "Big Bad John") and associate "Tom" with gin.
The vodka collins is an easy one to remember because the liquor of choice is right there in the name. Similarly, you can recall that the tequila collins has a tequila base.
The Collins formula is easy to remember:
- 1 1/2 parts Base Liquor
- 1 part Sour
- 1/2 part Sweet
- Topped with Soda
- Served over ice in a highball glass
Of course, those ratios will change slightly based on the spirit, but this will get you close.
From there, you can add ingredients to any collins recipe to come up with an entirely new drink. For instance, the American Collins add bing cherries and blueberries to the Tom Collins and the Lavender Sapphire Collins opts for a lavender-infused syrup. Come spring, you definitely have to try the Rhubarb Collins featuring a fresh rhubarb syrup against a gin background (though whiskey is fun as well).
Take your collins experience from there. The possibilities are endless and it's a ton of fun to see what you can come up with.
Use our Skyline MIXY in your Moscow Mule recipe for a fun version of this delicious cocktail.
Infuse Skyline MIXY with vodka.
Strain 2 oz serving of MIXY over ice.
Stir and top with ginger beer (or club soda for a low-sugar option).
Garnish with fresh blueberries.
RAMBLER RANCH WATER
The classic Texas summer drink made even better with the Rambler MIXY.
Strain 2 oz Rambler infused with tequila into cocktail shaker with ice.
Add 1/4 oz lime juice.
What could be better than sipping a mojito by the pool? Sipping our North Shore mojito by the pool. This might be the best mojito you’ve ever had, trust us.
Fill a highball glass with ice and set aside.
Add 6-10 mint leaves, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/4 lime wedge in cocktail shaker.
Use a cocktail muddler (or the bottom of a wooden spoon) to press mint and lime. together until fragrant. Be careful not to over muddle or tear the mint leaves.
Add 1.5 oz North Shore infused with silver rum and ice to shaker.
Cover and shake to combine.
Strain mixture into glass and top with club soda.
Frozen drinks are perfect for summer, but they are often full of sugar and artificial ingredients. Try the North Shore frosé for the perfect frozen drink that isn’t too sweet.
Cherry Bourbon Fizz
We spent the first week of our year-long travel adventure with my husband’s in-laws in Eugene, and almost immediately found ourselves swimming in cherries. I’m used to working my way through 10-pound bags of oranges in Southern California winters, and can use up bags of limes and lemons like no one’s business, but Oregon summertime means berries and cherries and the novelty of this had my head spinning.
Our first evening in Eugene, my in-laws went cherry picking and returned with a particularly fruitful harvest of 35 pounds of ripe, still sun-warmed Bing cherries.
We mostly ate them straight (and still are – I know for a fact that my father-in-law has a bag of them in his truck at this very moment). Once I actually ate so many while I was pondering what to bake with them that I ended up too full to do anything else. But I also layered them into a chocolate icebox cake and smooshed a few into this slightly fizzy, entirely summery, bright red cocktail.
Elevated Tomato Salad by Chef Andrew Clatworthy from TRIO
Cherries and bourbon are a pretty natural combination, and the citrus juice and bit of fizz added at the end make it far more light and summery than its Manhattan kin. I drank mine as I rolled out and cut a batch of gnocchi dough for dinner on one of those cooler, cloudier Oregon summer evenings. I’m pretty sure we had cherries for dessert that night, too, and I’m looking forward to more when we get back next week.
Cranberry Bourbon Fizz
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All you need are 3 ingredients to make this quick and delicious Cranberry Bourbon Fizz recipe!
Hey hey! Anyone looking for a simple cocktail for holiday entertaining this year?
This Cranberry Bourbon Fizz literally takes less than a minute to make, it calls for just three simple ingredients (yep, ginger beer is the mystery “fizz”), and it’s totally fizzy and fun and festive! Feel free to sprinkle a few extra cranberries on touch for those wintery holiday vibes, or hey, an extra sprig of rosemary or a cinnamon stick or an orange peel would be fabulous if you feel like going crazy and making this a four ingredient cocktail. (Look out, world.)
We’ve been making these with our brand new bottle of (now imported!) bourbon, some extra-spicy ginger beer, and jugo de arándanos (ha, that was a new vocab word, for sure) this week here in Spain. And they hit the spot every time.
Begin with your favorite kind of bourbon. (We tracked down some Bulleit at a liquor store here. And as Barclay noted, even the import stickers here in Spain are beautiful!) Stir it together in a serving glass with some cranberry juice. (100% juice is essential here to get that strong, tart flavor). Fill the glass with ice. Then top it all off with some ginger beer to get that good “fizz”.
Florida Bourbon Fizz
‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la laaaaaa….
It’s blowing my mind that Christmas is in three days, guys.
I love the holidays, but I hate how fast they fly by! It feels like just yesterday, I was pulling pies out of the oven in a mad rush to get them done in time for Thanksgiving dinner, and now, here I am, trying to figure out how in the heck I’m going to get my presents wrapped and under the tree without Mr. Crumby seeing them. I’m running out of time! I just finished my shopping yesterday, and in spite of all my cookie baking in the last couple weeks, I still have desserts to bake for Christmas Eve!
I don’t know about you, but it’s about that time for me to take a deep breath, remember that Christmas is about joy and peace, and sit down to chill out with one of these fantastic Florida Bourbon Fizz cocktails.
Confession time, folks. Until I came up with this drink, I have never tried bourbon, or any sort of whiskey, for that matter. (Except in caramel sauce, but I don’t really think that counts.)
I know, I know. What kind of foodie has never tried Jack or Jim??
I’m a wino, and a wannabe craft beer connoisseur, not a shot drinker. I don’t call myself a bartender by any means, but when I was asked to do a review by Rizzi at Arctic Chill of their Stainless Cocktail Muddler, I became terribly motivated to be inventive with my liquor cabinet.
Trust me when I say that coming up this cocktail was a week-long process, which involved a lot of brain picking of other, more experienced mixed drink consumers. I can throw margaritas and sangrias together with no problem, because I’m working with liquors I know and enjoy. But bourbon? I had no idea where to begin. Is it bitter or sweet? Is it fruity or earthy? Can I mix it with juice, or is it an on the rocks only kind of drink?
After doing some bourbon research, I decided to just do a citrusy spin on a classic Old Fashioned. Once I figured out the flavors I wanted to attempt for my Florida Bourbon Fizz, I figured infusing the liquor would help create the sweeter, citrus flavor profile I was going for. I made some cranberry simple syrup, tossed it in a mason jar with some orange peel, filled it to the brim with Jim Beam, and let the stuff sit on my kitchen windowsill for a week.
It smelled amazing when I opened the mason jar, oh my goodness! I had a good feeling by that point, so I moved forward with whipping up the drink. And I knew it was going to involve the lovely bourbon soaked cranberries in that jar, along with some citrus and mint, for a holiday flair from down south.
The last time I muddled a cocktail, I used my marble pestle. It did the trick, but I had no idea about the world of bar accessories and muddlers, and how different types can be used in different ways.
I’m a simple girl, with very limited bar space – or like, no bar space. Give me a tool that’s multipurpose! Arctic Chill’s muddler is just that. It’s made from stainless steel, and features a grooved nylon head, which doesn’t pollute your drink, unlike wooden lacquered muddlers, nor will it chip your glassware.
Who wants lacquer in their cocktail, seriously.
It was perfect for muddling both the mint, as well as the citrus and cranberries in this drink, and was so easy to clean! Hit it with a soapy sponge and done.
If you like a nice bubble with your bourbon, I highly recommend using a Moscato di Asti or Prosecco to top it all off with. With the help of the fruit juice, it does a lovely job of balancing the biting flavor of the liquor.
And if you’re looking to add some new barware to your home, Arctic Chill might just have what you’re looking for.
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All I need now is a matching cocktail shaker, and I’ll be able to fake being a pro behind my own bar.
A “dry shake” makes the best egg white foam
How to get the perfect foam? The best frothy egg white form is achieved by doing something called a Dry Shake. (Use that bartender term when you want to impress!) If you don’t do a dry shake, you’ll end up with a loose, wimpy foam layer. Here’s how the Dry Shake works:
- The first shake without ice lets the protein in the egg begin to form foam, instead of being diluted by the ice.
- The second shake with ice cools the drink and strengthens the foam. Strain it into the glass and you’ll get a thick, white frothy layer.
Note: There’s also a technique called a Reverse Shake, where you shake the drink with ice first, then shake without it. It gets an even larger amount of foam, but for most drinks we find the classic Dry Shake works just fine.
10 Vermouth Cocktail Recipes Anyone Can Make
If vermouth isn't in your current alcohol arsenal, we're here to convert you. The fortified wine is super versatile&mdashyou've probably already tried it in a cocktail or two&mdashand although you can drink it on the rocks, both its dry and sweet varieties really shine when paired with something harder. We went to the experts for some delicious vermouth cocktail recipes for when you don't feel like leaving your couch but are in the mood for a professional-tasting aperitif. Cheers!
Mix equal parts sweet vermouth and Campari over ice, top with a splash of club soda, and garnish with an orange wedge.
1.5 oz Tod & Vixen&rsquos Dry Gin 1651
1oz Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino
Stir with ice in an ice-filled rocks glass, garnish with orange wedge, then serve. (Finger-stirring optional.)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass or cocktail coupe.
Courtesy of Town and Country
1 1/2 oz. Carpano Antica or other sweet vermouth
3 oz. club soda or seltzer
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour the Carpano Antica over the ice and top with the club soda or seltzer. Stir, then garnish with the bitters and mint sprig.
.5 oz Carpano Antica Formula vermouth
3 dashes Bar Keep apple bitters
Add all ingredients to mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain over large ice cubes in a rocks glass and garnish with orange peel and a brandied cherry.
Courtesy of Town & Country and Eddie Eakin of Boulevardier in Dallas, TX
1 barspoon Orange Marmalade
Shake, strain into double rocks glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a lavish mint bouquet.
.5 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
Orange twist expressed and rolled on skewer with a brandied cherry for garnish
Stir with ice and strain into an absinthe rinsed Nick and Nora glass. Garnish as described above.
Courtesy of Flora Bar in New York City
.5 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
Build/shake like a ramos. Pour into fizz appropriate glass, and top with soda, creating frothy &ldquohead." Rest straw, mint sprig, and grated nutmeg on top.
Courtesy of Jessica Braasch at Bible Club, Portland OR
1 part Carpano Dry Vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass with crushed ice. Garnish with lemon wheel.
1 oz Honeydew Genmaicha Mint Sherbet*
Add everything but matcha powder into a shaker filled with ice. Reverse dry shake. Fine strain into a chilled cappuccino mug. Garnish with matcha powder dust on top.
* Honeydew Genmaicha Mint Sherbet
t10 oz (wt) Chopped Honeydew
10 oz (wt) Matcha Iri Genmaicha Tea
Place honeydew, mint and sugar in a non-reactive container, shake to coat and let sit refrigerated overnight.Blend honeydew, mint and sugar mixture with matcha iri genmaicha tea until well incorporated.Strain through nut bag.Bottle and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Courtesy of Merandia Adkins of L.B.M Bar in Cleveland, Ohio
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- Fill a wine glass with ice and layer in Maker’s Mark ® , Aperol ® , lemon juice and syrup.
- Top with Prosecco and garnish with an orange peel.
A riff on the Aperol Spritz, this Maker’s Mark version takes cues from its refreshing, Italian cousin – a summer staple in Europe since the 1950s. Today, similar claims can be made in the states about the Aperol Spritz, which, for throngs of thirsty imbibers, became the unofficial cocktail of Summer 2018. This season, it’s all about variations like the Bourbon Spritz, with the signature caramel notes of Maker’s Mark adding a new layer of excitement.