The Alchemist

In search of the perfect holiday cocktail, I recently headed over to my favorite neighborhood bar, H. Harper Station. Upon hearing my request for a festive cocktail that embodied warmth and joy, owner Jerry Slater mixed up The Alchemist. His impressive creation is a treasure trove of fantastic, nostalgic flavors. Every sip offers a bit of allspice, nutmeg, apple, cinnamon and overall herbacious goodness. This is a cocktail with depth and character that'll warm you up and have you asking for another. And another... Cheers! 

 

 

Bufala Negra

Hands down, my favorite cocktail is the Bufala Negra, created by H. Harper Station owner and mixologist, Jerry Slater. Jerry concocted the drink for a James Beard House event that he and Chef Todd Richards cooked for back in 2007. Buffalo Trace was one of their sponsors so Jerry found inspiration in their bourbon...   

Wanting to try an Italian take on the southern classic, mint julep, Jerry added balsamic syrup and basil. Jerry, "In Italy, balsamic and basil go together like peanut butter and jelly." Ginger beer is added last to lighten it up and make it refreshing. Jerry, "It seems out there at first but it's rooted in classic cocktails and traditional kitchen pairings." 

What's been fun is seeing this cocktail gain popularity throughout the US and across the Atlantic. It's been featured in the NY Times and seen on menus in New York, Colorado and England to name a few. It's just one of those tasty, complex drinks that surprises you- it's hard not to sip and say, 'wow, that's good.' Then you order another. Lucky for us, Jerry has shared the recipe too, but as his original is made from housemade ginger beer and balsamic syrup, you may just want to try this one in person. 

Find the Bufala Negra recipe, here.

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Southern Sartorialist's Cookies

I had the pure pleasure of meeting Libbie Summers a couple weeks ago. Libbie is the co-creator of the Salted & Styled blog, along with Chia Chong (who also takes the most gorgeous pics, as featured here). Libbie is a stylish, adorable and most talented baker based in Savannah, Georgia. I love her work, particularly the gorgeous photos and videos you can find on her site- like this one, showcasing her Southern Sartorialist Cookie just for dudes. Take a gander then c'mon back...

Libbie is the author of Sweet & Vicious - baking with Attitude (Rizzoli, 2014), a book whose prose, photography and recipes are equally sublime. When I picked up a copy, I was easily smitten with her cookie recipe just for men. When Libbie informed me there was also a video for this cookie, where she gathered dapper, southern men under an old oak tree covered with Spanish moss to serve them cookies and bourbon, I was hoping I could be her best friend forever. How deliciously perfect...

Libbie, "These men are just a few of the very creative and stylish men who thread through my life. All with a special talent for words or design or art and all have a certain flair about them when it comes to style." 

This is an oatmeal cookie that's more smoky and salty rather than sweet. Libbie, "The bourbon adds that little oaky flavor that drives it all home and makes it very special." She recommends a glass of bourbon or milk to complement this tasty, manly treat.

Oh how I love a fashionable man. For the one in your life, may I suggest two dozen Southern Sartorialist's Cookies and a bottle of bourbon. Find Libbie's picture perfect recipe, here. Thank you Libbie and all you dapper dudes out there who make Manly Monday so scrumptiously fun... 

 

Photos: Chia Chong/ last two via video, Barrera Productions:     Content: Sweet Peach


Shake

Ever since I bought the mason shaker, I've wanted to make lots and lots of cocktails. Next thing you know, the same crafty entrepreneurial duo, Eric Prum and Josh Williams who designed the shaker, release a cocktail book. It's smartly called, Shake. Now I have even more reason to shake and sip to my heart's content...

Their intention for the book is to share simple, tasty drink recipes we can all make at home for family and friends. They took a year to travel around, create and taste test- which sounds like a fun plan. As they share, "What resulted is one part photo journey through our year of cocktail crafting and one part inspirational pep talk." 

I appreciate how they divided the recipes up into seasons. When I checked out the fall drinks, I, unsurprisingly, gravitated towards the one with bourbon in it. They call it The Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour. Yes, please! All you'll need for two servings is 3 shots of bourbon, 1 1/2 shots fresh lemon juice, 3/4 shot dark amber maple syrup, 1 large sprig of rosemary plus two smaller sprigs for garnish. 

Crush the large sprig of rosemary in your hand and add it to your mason shaker. Next, add the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain the mixture into rocks glasses containing large cubes of ice and garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs. 

Simple, tasty, stylish and impressive is a good combo and I'd say this fall cocktail delivers on all counts. Thanks Eric and Josh for sharing your recipe. I have a feeling I'll be making (and sharing) many more of these. If you don't own a mason shaker or their incredible book, Shake yet- what are you waiting for? Click it and get it. Cheers! 

 

Photos: W&P Design   Content: Sweet Peach

 

The Bourbon Glass


As Southerners, we love our Bourbon and know where to buy our favorite bottle. Funny thing is finding the right bourbon glass can be a much tougher mission. As I am partial to the Bufala Negra cocktail, I particularly like the wide glasses. This well designed version by Schott Zwiesel has my vote... 

Crate and Barrel offers some good rock glass options. These have wide mouths which make it easy to add ice. The way to smell a bourbon is to stick your nose in the glass, parting your lips as you inhale. It's a way of 'tasting' it as you smell it. 

 

Many bourbon enthusiasts like to experience every nuance of 'the nose,' picking up notes of vanilla, toasted nuts or cinnamon. The Glencairn Scotch Whiskey Glass is a good choice for bourbon lovers who like their aromas concentrated. 

 

 

The wide Glencairn glass is another good option. It's easy on the grip and allows for full appreciation of the color and aroma. 

Whichever glass you prefer for your bourbon, the important thing is to swirl, smell and taste. Drink slow and savor it. If done just right, it's good for the Southern soul...

 

Photos: Amazon, salon.com, Crate & Barrel     Content: Sweet Peach


Jason Cohen

Jason Cohen and I have something in common...we both like bourbon. For me, that entails sitting atop a bar stool. For Jason, this translates into making the bar stool. Utilizing white oak bourbon barrels, Jason handcrafts gorgeous furniture that serves its function in a very stylish, intriguing way.  

I first saw Jason's work in Garden & Gun last year and tore out the magazine page to ensure I blogged about it someday. Jason sources his barrels from Bourbon Barrel Foods, just down the block from his workshop in Louisville, Kentucky. 

White Oak is a hardy wood, yet one may question how sturdy furniture made from the rounded barrels can be. Not to worry...As Jason shared with Garden & Gun, "The wood has been trained for years to that form and it makes it strong. It's green when they cut it, and then they pour liquor in it. It's almost petrified." 

This small stool was inspired by an antique milking stool. As each item is handcrafted individually, no two of Jason's pieces are exactly alike and all have a unique patina and look of their own. Click here, then on the Bourbon Barrel Furniture link to see all of Jason's creations inspired by Kentucky's most famous spirit. 

Like I said, I'm a fan of bourbon, specifically the delightful concoctions I've found at Abattoir or HD1 in Atlanta...just mix with herbs and fresh berries or a bit of citrus and I'm a happy girl. I like a few of Bulleit's recipes too, found here. A couple tasty cocktails would look so good atop a Jason Cohen table, don't you think? 

 

Photos: Bourbon Barrel Foods, Bulleit   Content: Sweet Peach