Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wishful Whiskeying: Part III, a conclusion and a cocktail

The past four days here in Brooklyn have been cold.  Really cold.  Mittens and a hat and a scarf and you're still shivery cold.  The consistency of four days in a row, I fear, means winter is close by.  And that, my friends, means it's about time to finish up that fall whiskey.

Taking a taste on the fourth day of infusing it was agreed upon that the flavor was just right.  The number of days had created a taste that was new and yet still with the definable feel and personality of straight bourbon.  After all the pears and nuts and cinnamon sticks, was I finally headed towards the title of whiskey girl extraordinaire?

Before the clock struck cocktail hour there remained one final step.  Time to strain.  To do this we gathered a large rubber band, scissors and a few pieces of cheese cloth.  

Folding the cheesecloth, creating layers to make a tight filter, we rubber banded the cloth over the jar lid and simply poured it from jar to spouted cup.

Warning: to those of you who look eagerly at the nutty mix of whiskey soaked spiced pears remaining at the bottom of the infusing not eat them.  Do not do it.  Yes, it was hard to throw away those remaining goodies, but thinking surely there was something that could be done with them I bit into a pear to knockout alcoholic, squish squashy results.  The pears have done their work.  Let them go.

And let yourself raise a glass!  Pouring the bourbon into a clean bottle it was like positioning a trophy as I arranged it on a shelf in the kitchen.  Admiring the amber mix a thought crossed my mind: it's wonderfully warming to take serious time creating something meant to be slowly savored.

And after waiting and wondering and wishing, how wonderful and warming is the first taste of the highly anticipated?  With the wind whipping at the kitchen windows all the shivers now were only in excitement of the first sip.

Spicy, subtly sweet, toasty and tingling.  I am a whisky girl for this.

I'm also still the pre-bourbon Kaitlin.  I like rosy drinks.  I haven't bought a red dress and while I am pleased with the fall harvest treat I'm not ready for a glass on the rocks.  But the possibilities only start on ice.  Inspired by the chilly weather and turkeys to be, Russ and I evolved the fall harvest bourbon into a crowd pleasing, company keeping holiday cocktail: hot-buttered cider bourbon, or what we like to call a "Baked Apple".

Straight, sweetened, dressed up or dressed in slippers, I hope you find just the way to make your bourbon your own.  And that your bourbon finds you a little warmth in your week.

Baked Apple
hot-buttered fall harvest bourbon with cider

1/2 T butter
2 t brown sugar
3 oz (just less than half a cup) fall harvest bourbon
6 oz (3/4 of a cup) apple cider

1.  Place butter, brown sugar and bourbon in a mug.
2.  Heat cider until hot enough to melt butter.
3.  Pour hot cider into the mug, whisking until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted.
4.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve hot.

one serving

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