Friday, November 6, 2020

bells & whistles

2 oz Old Grand-Dad 114° Bourbon
3/4 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1/8 oz Amontillado Sherry (Lustau)
1/8 oz Averna
1/8 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Fridays ago, I decided to make a recipe that I had spotted on the Kindred Cocktails database called the Bells & Whistles by Kyle Davidson (of Art of Choke and Under the Volcano fame) at Blackbird in Chicago. Essentially, it was a Bourbon Manhattan with Bonal as the aromatized wine element along with a trio of modifiers. The first two modifiers were the Averna and apricot liqueur duo that I have utilized well in recipes like the Library Card and was probably introduced to in Misty Kalkofen's Cocktail Miranda at Green Street. The third modifier was a small amount of Amontillado sherry; someone commented on my Instagram post inquiring if a barspoon would really have an effect, and I related how a mere two dashes in the It's A Long, Long Way had me equally as skeptical except that the effect was most certainly there.
The Bells & Whistles began with a Bourbon-forward aroma with a hint of orchard fruit on the nose. Next, grape and caramel filled the sip, and the swallow showcased the Bourbon along with herbal and nutty flavors and an apricot finish. Finally, I was impressed at how this tasty drink became even more balanced as it warmed up over time.

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