6 Updated Cocktail Classics to Make Now
Just as Limestone Branch was there for the beginning of the Kentucky bourbon boom, you should know how to honor the spirit with a perfectly mixed classic cocktail.
However, there’s always room for a modern twist, as these six updated recipes prove. Bring your drinks up to date with these fresh new favorites.
Whiskey Sour – Slough Creek Sour and Eastern Sour
Some believe that sours are just a scaled-down version of punch, but the recipe itself first appeared in writing in 1862. It’s actually been around much longer, though, as sailors mixed citrus with liquor (a safer alternative to water) to ward off scurvy and prevent sickness. The sour later became a Prohibition staple, as pure base liquor was hard to come by so “bartenders” added extras like lemon juice and simple syrup to help fill out the pour. Limestone Branch updates include the Eastern Sour (pictured right), which doubles the citrus component, and the Slough Creek Sour, which reintroduces the frothy egg white and adds a spoonful of strawberry preserves.
Classic Martini – Algonquin and Green Goddess
Gin or vodka normally forms James Bond’s favorite drink, shaken (not stirred) with dry vermouth and topped off with an olive. The Algonquin is a much more tropical take, with Yellowstone Select whiskey subbing in for the clear liquor and pineapple juice and honey syrup adding a sweet layer that’s more reminiscent of white sandy beaches than European sports cars. And while the Green Goddess features Bowling & Burch gin, additional ingredients like lime juice, celery bitters, and cucumber, offer a decidedly nontraditional twist to the classic martini.
Old-Fashioned – Overlook Old-Fashioned and Roaring Mountain Old-Fashioned
In the 19th century, people were defining the word “cocktail” with the recipe for an old-fashioned: bourbon, water, bitters, and muddled sugar. The 1930s brought the citrusy zest of an orange slice, but the “bittered sling” has continued to reign with or without it. Add smoke and mole bitters for a chocolatey, woodsier twist with the Roaring Mountain Old-Fashioned or lean into the fruity notes of our Overlook Old-Fashioned, which includes apricot preserves.
Greyhound – Rosemary Greyhound and the Blinker
An oft-forgotten but no less deserving brunch drink is the Greyhound, a tangy mix of gin or vodka with grapefruit juice that first gained widespread popularity in the 1930s and ’40s. The Rosemary Greyhound infuses the classic cocktail with the botanical notes of Bowling & Burch gin, while the Blinker, featuring rye whiskey, looks to raspberry syrup for an extra fruity kick.
Manhattan – Black Tea Manhattan
The Manhattan Club in the 1870s was the birthplace of this standard, which mixes sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, and whiskey, topped by a Maraschino or bourbon-soaked cherry. The Black Tea Manhattan suavely combines tea and Minor Case rye whiskey and a twist of lemon as a garnish for a lighter finish.
Whiskey Smash – Watermelon Smash
A citrusy cousin of the Mint Julep and best friend of the Whiskey Sour, the Smash has been around since the 1860s when Jerry Thomas mixed lemon, mint, simple syrup, and, of course, whiskey. It’s already a light summertime sip, but swapping in rye whiskey, lime, and adding chunks of watermelon make this Watermelon Smash an even more refreshing libation.
More Articles of Interest
It’s only natural to feel a little peckish when sipping a gin cocktail — the spirit’s botanical ingredients complement all manner of munchies, from dainty appetizers to hearty entrees.
Each year, Limestone Branch master distiller Steve Beam creates a new take on the Yellowstone Limited Edition Bourbon. While last year’s offering was a combination of extra-aged 9- and 12-year bourbons, this year, Beam turned to Armagnac.