Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A New Bourbon Concoction



A new recipe, fresh from the stainless counter . . . . 


1 3/4 parts Jack Daniels Bourbon
3/4 part sweet vermouth
1/3 part Becherovka
1 teaspoon creme de cacao


Bourbon has a fairly distinct flavor, unlike, say, Canadian whiskey. And it has traditional mixes which  have become so synonymous with it that people almost reject the different flavors that can be made out of it (as a standard dark "goods"). 

But that challenge is one I take up often--to construct different pyramids of flavor out of a somewhat clich√©-driven traditional liquor.  

This one doesn't exactly conflict with the bourbon taste, but leads it gently into a less-traveled lane. 

Becherovka is considered an herbal bitters liqueur, but that is simply a way of saying that it's an alcoholic base with flavors. It can be served by itself (chilled), or with soda, or as a component in cocktails. It originates in Czechoslovakia, and has been produced there since the 19th Century. It has a slight gingery-cinnamon cast, but is more complex than that. 

Creme de Cacao is no stranger to bourbon, but the Becherovka isn't one I'd expect to be considered in the same dimension. 

Karlovy Vary, where Becherovka is produced, is a small spa-town on the western edge of Czech Republic. It was under German settlement and influence until after WWII, when the German inhabitants were expelled. I probably don't want to know any more about that episode. It's a picturesque old place, popular with tourists, and has been used for various film-shoots, including Casino Royale (the James Bond movie), and as a model for the Grand Budapest Hotel movie.   


The Old Section of Karlovy Vary

This combination probably won't catch on as a regular at anyone's tavern, and Becherovka isn't a common spirit in this country. Nevertheless, I decided to try it with bourbon and chocolate, and the resulting mix was very seductive. 

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