Drink of the Week: Kentucky Snowbird

Let’s drink some bourbon and toast the southern U.S., which has been my gracious host this week. We’ve been to Arkansas and all over Tennessee and I am loving the southern food and hospitality — and spirits.

We haven’t been up to Kentucky but before the trip I attended a bourbon cocktail class in Calgary hosted by Wade Sirois of Crowbar, the pop-up cocktail lounge. I spent an evening with some fellow cocktail enthusiasts sampling different brands of bourbon, stirring a Manhattan and learning how to make a Kentucky Snowbird. I’ll be writing about the class in an upcoming Calgary Herald column (April 13).

Sorry this photo is lopsided. The photographer had been drinking bourbon.

Sorry this photo is lopsided. The photographer had been drinking bourbon.

My favourite drink from the evening was the Kentucky Snowbird, a bitter-sweet yet strong drink that combines three unlikely ingredients: bourbon, Aperol and Cointreau. The bourbon is sweet enough to soften the bitter Italian aperitif, and the Cointreau adds a lovely hint of orange (as do the bitters). It’s definitely a sipper, best enjoyed while sitting in a rocking chair on a porch somewhere in Kentucky.

Kentucky Snowbird

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Aperol
  • 1/2 Cointreau
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • orange for flaming orange twist

Put ice in a rocks glass for chilling. Put liquors and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 10-15 seconds. Dump the ice from the chilled rocks glass, and then strain the cocktail from the mixing glass into the rocks glass. Flame an orange twist over the cocktail, squeeze it over the drink, run it around the glass rim and then drop it into the cocktail.

— Recipe courtesy Wade Sirois, Crowbar

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