A spicy spin on a classic, and a silly equestrian joke, this cocktail is made with our Smoked Cinnamon Maple Syrup, fiery 100-proof bourbon, and a cold mountain of crushed ice, so hot plus cold equals warm. The edible garnish is a chilled dill pickle spear, delicious, and itself packed full of spices; it's also a cheeky homage to the Pickleback and Bushwick Country Club, the bar that made that drink famous.
1/2 ounce Smoked Cinnamon Maple Syrup
2 ounces bourbon (prefer Four Roses Single Barrel, or another quality 100 proof bourbon)
A thin spear of dill pickle
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.
Variations & Ideas:
• 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.
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