Sorry to bombard you with two bourbon cocktails in a row, but trends being what they are (bourbon is hot, baby) I can’t help myself. Or, blame it on the lemons and mint — we have a bag of the former and a bunch of the later in the fridge so I went online looking for something that used those ingredients, expecting to find recipes featuring rum or gin. I was excited to discover one with bourbon. Say hello to the Whiskey Smash, a seriously delicious drink.
The Whiskey Smash mixes bourbon with muddled mint and lemons. Yum!
What makes my version so good (I think) is the honey syrup. It helps bring out the honey notes in the bourbon and it goes well with both lemons and mint. And for those planning on tuning in to the Kentucky Derby this Sunday, but who don’t really like mint juleps, this cocktail is a lovely alternative. In fact, it’s way better. Enjoy!
Dive in to a tart, sweet and strong Whiskey Smash.
- 1-3/4 oz bourbon whiskey (I used Maker’s Mark)
- 3/4 oz simple syrup (I used honey syrup: equal parts honey and water)
- 1/2 lemon, cut into four chunks
- 6 mint leaves, plus one for garnish
Put mint and lemon chunks into a cocktail shaker. Muddle to release lemon juice and mint oils. Add bourbon and simple syrup and ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint leaf.
I’m off to Fernie Alpine Resort for some spring skiing this weekend. I’m looking forward to a huge base of snow, a couple of (hopefully) bluebird days and at least one run off of Polar Peak. Then I’ll head over to the Griz Bar for some apres-ski drinks including a Griz Bar Caesar.
What’s better than apres ski? A Griz Bar Caesar on an outdoor patio on a sunny afternoon apres ski.
Two years ago I searched the town for the best apres-ski cocktail. What I discovered is that most skiers drink jugs of Kokanee after a day on the slopes, but the lucky few who find themselves seated at a vinyl booth inside the Griz Bar can quench their thirst — and a desire for a cocktail with some kick — by ordering the Caesar. It’s also the best choice during Griz Days, Fernie’s annual festival that’s on this weekend in honour of the mountain man (Griz) responsible for firing a cannon into the clouds and causing the town’s epic snowfalls. Cheers to Griz, Griz Days and the Griz Bar Caesar!
Griz Bar Caesar
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
- 2 dashes Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
- Clamato juice
- Celery salt
- Pepperoncini pepper
Rim a high ball glass with celery salt. Fill with ice then add vodka, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Top with Clamato, stir and garnish with a pepperoncini pepper.
— Recipe courtesy Griz Bar
Dive right in to this margarita with a twist.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Aykroyd at the Oak Room bar inside the Fairmont Palliser hotel a couple of years ago when he was in town promoting Crystal Head vodka, which I wrote about in a column for the Calgary Herald. Interestingly, Aykroyd spent part of the interview telling me all about Patron tequila (which he also promotes) and his return to the made-in-Mexico spirit even though he’d sworn it off as a teenager after a wild night in Tijuana.
So I suppose it’s fitting that the Oak Room has named one of its tequila cocktails after the Canadian actor and comedian. The Dan Aykroyd is like a margarita, but with orange juice in addition to lime juice. This both sweetens the drink and softens the lime’s tartness. It’s very smooth. Add in a sugar-cinnamon rim in place of a salty one and you’ve got a very approachable cocktail. Incidentally, Aykroyd was very pleased when he learned the bar had named a drink after him.
It’s like a margarita with orange juice. I like it.
- 1 oz Patron Silver
- 1/2 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz fresh orange juice
- Sugar/cinnamon mix to rim glass
Rim a martini glass with a sugar/cinnamon mixture, then fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker combine the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and orange juice and shake. Strain into the martini glass and garnish with an orange slice.
— Recipe courtesy Patrick Appave, bartender, Oak Room at the Fairmont Palliser