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February 18, 2015

Cocktail Corner: Patrons choose cocktail for drink competition

By Tom Joyce

My uncle Jack warned me to never say “hi” to him at the airport. I asked why, he said try it, I said “Hijack” … oh that old chestnut never gets old.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say “Hi Jack” to our guests from Kentucky.  If you haven’t noticed it’s Jack Daniels week again on the Killington Road. I worked on a few different cocktails the last couple years for the drink competition that takes place Sunday evening at Outback. I wanted to come up with one palatable drink in four different categories and run them up the flag pole and see who salutes.

The Old Fashion, Champagne Cocktail, Sour/Collins and Mule were the four I decided on. I created many different versions of the drinks listed below and the final recipes are listed here. I put them on special for a couple weeks before Jack week and asked for feedback from customers. The overall favorite was the LumberJack Old Fashion that was featured in last week’s column but have included it again here for thoroughness.

Champagne Cocktail

Made up of bitters, sweetener, possibly a spirit and topped with champagne, this was the one I was rooting for. I figured nobody would bring one of these to the competition but it seemed to be only my favorite. I probably needed a few more weeks playing around with the bitters ratio… I used Gentleman Jack because of its smoothness and thought it felt silky going down with the champagne.

A Gentlemen’s Cocktail

1 Sugar Cube  in the bottom of a flute

1 Dash Fee Brothers Orange Bitters

2 Dashes Bitter Cube  Jamaican Bitters, maybe should have use just 1.

0.75 ounces Gentlemen Jack

Top with Moet Chandon or a prosecco if you like it a little sweeter.

The Mule

This can be just about anything with ginger beer. And, no, ginger beer is not really beer just like ginger ale is not really ale, and root beer is not really beer either.

Jack Berry Mule

0.5 oz. simple syrup  (equal parts sugar and water)

5 each raspberries or a couple big ripe strawberries

0.75 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 oz. Ginger Beer, or muddle some fresh ginger with brown sugar

2 oz. Jack Daniels Old #7, the sour mash pairs nice with these flavors

(I might have been gilding the lily with this one, too many flavors competing.)

Shake w/ice and stain over fresh ice in a copper mug top with club soda and garnish with a berry speared lemon.

The Sour/Collins

This cocktail contains a spirit with citrus and sweetener for balance.  A Collins would normally be topped with soda so I called this a sour.

Kentucky Cherry Apple Sour

(This was my guess for crowd favorite but the Lumber Jack chopped it down.)

1/4 each Granny Smith Apple muddled try not to include seeds (too bitter)

2 dashes Bitter Cube Cherry Vanilla bitters

0.75 oz. Grand Marnier (this was originally 1 full ounce)

0.5 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 oz. Jack Daniels Single Barrel (holds up to all these flavors, original recipe contained 1.5 oz.)

Smash up Apple in a mixing glass add ingredients. Shake over ice and double stain into a champagne coupe straight up or in a collins glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an apple fan.

Old Fashion

Simply spirit, bitters, and sweetener.

LumberJack Old Fashion

6 drops or 2 dashes Vanilla Cherry Bark bitters

0.5 oz. fresh Vermont apple cider

0.5 oz. Sapling, a Vt. maple liquor (original recipe had 1 full ounce which upon further research and imbibing was a bit too sweet.  I lowered it to 0.75 for a while and finally settled in at half an ounce.  Substitute .25 ounces real maple syrup if you can’t find this delicious liquor near you.)

2 oz. Old # 7

Stir all ingredients in a frozen mixing glass for about 30 seconds depending on your ice and stain over a two-inch ice cube if you have one.  The flavor of this cocktail changes and gets better I think after about 10 minutes if you use a big cube.  No garnish.

Remember the road probably doesn’t need one so Tipple don’t Topple.

Thanks for coming back, Jack!

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