Autumn, to Jamie MacBain, marks the start of bourbon season. When the head bartender at Bourbon Steak in Washington, D.C. is not drinking the brown spirit neat with a splash of water, here are some of his favorite cool-weather cocktails to fall into.
Five Bourbon Cocktails for Autumn: Jamie MacBain
1. Bourbon Rickey
"Being in the nation's Capital, I would be remiss not to mention its official cocktail that's perfect for the Indian Summer."
2 oz bourbon
Juice of half a lime
Squeeze the lime into a glass and drop the fruit in. Add ice and bourbon. Top with soda water.
2. Old Fashioned
"I love a true and proper original Old Fashioned. This is the old-school version. Somewhere along the line, people started turning it into a fruit salad with oranges and cherries, probably to mask the bourbon flavors and make it sweeter and more appealing to the masses. This speaks fall to me!"
2 oz bourbon
1 sugar cube
1 wide lemon twist
2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Splash of soda water
Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a double rocks glass (also known as an Old Fashioned glass). Add 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters (more or less depending on your flavor preference). Add the lemon twist and a splash of soda water. Muddle the combination until the sugar is dissolved and you have released the oils from the lemon. Add ice. Top with bourbon. Gently stir.
3. The Boulevardier
"A simple, yet amazing cocktail. A touch of bitter from the Campari, a hint of sweetness from the vermouth and the kick of bourbon. It's perfect after a long day of work when the temperature drops."
1 oz bourbon
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
4. Hot Maple Toddy
"This is one of my originals. It brings me back to my childhood and all the bowls of Cream of Wheat that I endured. An excellent 'breakfast cocktail.'"
1.5 oz wheated bourbon