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2 ounces bourbon (prefer Four Roses Single Barrel, or another quality 100 proof bourbon)
Thin dill pickle spear
Sprig of fresh flowers
Mix the bourbon and smoked cinnamon maple syrup together.
Pack a julep cup or rocks glass to the rim with crushed ice‡. Using a straw poke a hole for the garnishes and add them.
Pour the spiced bourbon over the ice, then pack more ice over the top to form a dome. Serve with a straw or a julep strainer*, and a cloth handkerchief if you like, to hold the icy cup. If you're barehanding it it's best to hold the rim towards the top where it will be less cold.
‡ You can use an ice crusher, though I haven't found many modern electric ones that I'm in love with. Try finding a vintage one like the Rival Ice-O-Matic. Often more fun, in my opinion anyway, is putting cubes in a bag or cloth towel and whacking them with a mallet.
* Julep strainers were originally used to shield the drinker's face and mustache from the mint and ice when taking a sip of a classic mint julep. Julep straws have a spoon at the bottom for stirring and are used similarly to a bombilla, which makes a fine, if slightly less elegant substitute.
• This cocktail can also be made with cognac (which was the norm prior to the Civil War blockade of southern ports); try 1840 from Pierre Ferrand which is bottled at a slightly higher proof. I like using a gently rinsed pickled asparagus spear for the garnish, and a sprig of lavender for the flowers.
• This is also a fun way to serve an Old Fashioned when the weather is warmer. Again go with 100-proof spirits as the crushed ice creates a fair amount of dilution. Try our Gold Fashioned cocktail for a spicy spin on the original.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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