Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The only derby I support: A Derby Bourbon


New rule: when the seasons change, your cocktails should too.

Any chance to play around in my cocktail lab (which covers a generous square foot of space in my apartment), is good fun for me. Know what else is fun? Saying "Derby Bourbon", which has been my after-work drink of choice lately.

While I like the idea of the Kentucky Derby, I don't know that it's quite the event for me—horses and hats and southern elegance are all things I approve of, but staying out in the heat (even with a wide-brimmed hat) for an extremely short race isn't something I imagine I'd be good at handling.

My first experience with the Kentucky Derby was about 7 years ago in D.C. when I was invited to a friend's apartment for a live TV viewing. I had my first Woodford Reserve mint julep at her table and very much enjoyed its smooth, fresh depths. But as I turned to serve myself another generous pour, the race began and finished.

Thus ended my relationship with the Derby event.*

But the Derby cocktail? It's just beginning. It's warm and spiced, but with a freshness from lime and the barest hint of sweetness from triple sec and sweet vermouth. I think you should try it sometime soon:

For 1 Derby cocktail
   1 ounce bourbon whiskey (I've been using a high-rye blend called Redemption**)
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica Formula)
1/2 ounce triple sec (Luxardo Triplum Triple Sec)

Mix and serve over ice.

While we're on the topic of potent drinks, I should also tell you about this tasty squash dish, as it's the perfect chaser, so to speak, for bourbon's wallop. Every year I buy squash because they're so adorable and season appropriate, but I always forget how much of a pain they are to clean and prepare.

But these acorn squashes were fairly easy to turn into a hearty meal. All I did was (carefully) chop them in two, place the halves in a shallow baking pan (cut side down) with a few centimeters of water, and then bake for about an hour.

Then, I turned them right side up and filled them with a cumin and cayenne pepper-spiked mixture of sauteed mushrooms, peppers, onion, chilies, spinach and tomatoes and baked the halves for another 25 minutes or so, turning the broiler on for the last 2 minutes (but not before sprinkling a little feta on top for the always-necessary caramelized crust). 


One year ago: Happy makers

  * Even though I shunned a vital aspect of her Kentucky lineage, we've remained friends.
** Truth be told, the name was half the reason I bought it.

6 comments :

  1. Highly appreciate this post, and definitely planning on testing out this cocktail!

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  2. i cant do whiskey at all and im going to this whiskey festival soon. will be thinking of you though.

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    1. I like that you're going even though you don't like whiskey :). That's the spirit! (ha!).

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  3. delicious stuffed squash and the drink! the drink!!! ps I think tennis would be a great sport for you (to watch), it lasts for HOURS so you can go refill as much as you want and still see plenty of good shots.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm, perhaps I'll just not watch any sport and put on a romcom / foreign espionage flick? ;)

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J.