Cocktails have gotten complicated over the years, and bartenders more creative in finding ways to complement your favorite whiskey. Mixologists from all over the world are constantly trying to reinvent new cocktails by pairing whiskey with an assortment of new ingredients. Tired of the standard splash of coke with your Jack? Then you might be ready to try one of the latest drink concoctions:
Foie the Hell of It
The average person doesn’t even know what foie gras is, let alone want to see it on top of their mixed whiskey drink. Yet the bartenders at Ox, a Portland restaurant, cleverly found a way to mix the two into a rich cocktail that packs a serious punch.
The list of ingredients include apple brandy and bourbon, lemon juice, ginger syrup, pureed rhubarb and strawberry preserves, egg white, lemon bitters and a dash of pepper. The frozen foie gras is saved for the end, shaved to form a frothy layer on top.
There are a few ingredients in this drink that make it distinct (rhubarb and egg whites?), but it is definitely the addition of foie gras that stands out. Foie gras is French for fat liver, in this case, that of a duck or goose that was force fed corn for its short life span. The result is a decadent and buttery protein that apparently pairs perfectly with a nice bourbon.
The French Quarter Smash
For this award winning whiskey cocktail, you will need to get your hands on some moonshine, or you could substitute it with a cheap whiskey. But moonshine is not the eccentric ingredient for this cocktail; that would be the 2 spoons full of wild blueberry preserves.
Start by muddling lemon wedges with almond syrup in a cocktail shaker until all the juice and oil is extracted. Add the moonshine, an ounce of brandy (E&J XO is lovely here), fresh mint leaves, blueberry preserves and ice before shaking vigorously.
This whiskey cocktail should be double strained before it is poured into an old-fashioned glass to ensure its smoothness unless you like little particles of fruit to be floating around your drink. A bartender in Washington D.C. came up with the recipe and used it to win top honors in a Berry Cocktail Contest back in 2015.
Technically not a cocktail, Snake Whiskey has become a “thing” in bars across Asia. To make this fearful drink, a live snake must be added to a perfectly good bottle of whiskey.
Some bars up the creative bar by also adding snake venom, hot peppers, berries or ginseng to the mixture. The theory is that this concoction will make men more virile, and could even prevent hair loss, although some could argue that the same could be said for a bottle of 12-year old scotch without the snake.
Since you won’t find Snake Whiskey on your local bar’s shelf, we suggest ordering the highly potent snakebite in its place. This simple concoction is a mix of Yukon Jack with lime juice; a sweet and tart combination that will make your lips pucker before you ask for another.
Truffle Smoked Fashioned
Bars across the United Kingdom have begun serving this new take on the old-fashioned. Served in a retro lab bottle, the glass top serves to hold the smoke in place, making this a drink that is as much for the eyes as it is for your taste buds. Bourbon is used as the base and mixed with truffle oil, bitters, and sugar before being adorned with a classy sprig of thyme and that mysterious cloud of smoke.
Smoking a drink requires the use of a small gadget known as a smoker. This device has a small hose that allows you to blow smoke directly into any cocktail. Smoke infusion adds a layer of complexity to the bourbon. So even without the truffle oil, an old-fashioned turns into something new and exciting.
Bacon and Egg Martini
Mixologists at The London Cocktail Club have taken an American whiskey to make this breakfast-like cocktail. The ingredients include bacon-infused Jack Daniels (because bacon can make even Jack taste better), egg white, maple syrup, lemon juice and Angostura bitters. These are mixed in a cocktail shaker and then strained into a martini glass which is then garnished with a nice slice of bacon because, well… bacon.
Infusing Jack Daniels – or any other whiskey – with bacon is fairly easy. Start by cooking 4 or 5 strips so that you get an ounce of fat. Go ahead and eat the cooked bacon while you let the fat cool to room temperature. Pour that into a storage container and add your Jack Daniels. Freeze the mixture overnight and then strain your Jack into a bottle, removing any remnants of meat that were left over. Now your Jack is full of bacon-goodness.
A cool Mint Julep is the perfect way to cool down a hot summer day. You will need to plan ahead however by making ice cubes flavored with mint. Then simply pour mint-infused bourbon over them for a refreshingly simple, and tasty, cocktail. This is a traditional drink from the south that has been made even cooler by bartenders at a London lounge.
This is the dessert drink with a serious kick. Made like a milkshake, all you have to do is combine Four Roses Bourbon with vanilla ice cream and peanut butter inside of a blender. Top that off with a big dollop of whipped cream and you won’t even feel the spirit going down. This frozen miracle was named after Elvis Presley’s manager, and we all know that the king had a serious thing for peanut butter.
Experts know that a good whiskey shouldn’t need an accompaniment, but they do work at keeping drinking interesting. If you’re looking to impress some guests, start by adding unique ingredients to your favorite whiskey cocktails. This new trend has re-kindled interest in the warmth that only whiskey can offer.