My husband is not a big cocktail person. He enjoys a nice beer (current favorite: Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout, which goes perfectly with our current, completely crazy monsoon season here in Colorado), and appreciates a perfect glass of Pinot Noir. But he thoroughly enjoys a perfectly balanced, not-too-sweet, not-too-gimmicky whiskey cocktail. A while back, he started experimenting with his own combinations and has settled in with a mixture of whiskey, ginger beer, lemon juice and bitters. He calls it: Whiskey Friday.
Watching Brad perfect this recipe was actually really fun. He tested several cocktails (tough work, I know) to make sure his measurements were exactly right. Like any good recipe developer, he was picky and didn't settle for 'almost' right, or 'good enough'. He tweaked it over and over again until it was perfect. In the end, this recipe produced the exact cocktail he loves to sip at the end of a long week during our at-home happy hour.
As the process of recipe development progressed, Brad began to tell me exactly why this cocktail was so great. He would yell things from the kitchen like, "I think it needs more lemon juice!" or "Do I need to measure the ice?" My favorite little tidbit of information was this, "People who like whiskey cocktails like to taste the whiskey. Don't try to hide it." True. So very true. So while this cocktail uses zingy ginger beer, it does not mask the flavor of the whiskey itself. It is well balanced with fresh flavors that refresh on a warm summer evening.
Makes 1 cocktail
*Note: Brad has made this with both bourbon whiskey and straight whiskey. The recipe stays the same either way.
- 2 oz whiskey
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 4-5 drops Angostura bitters
- 4 oz ginger beer
- Combine the whiskey and lemon juice in a cocktail glass.
- Fill the glass with ice and top with the ginger beer.
- Add the bitters and stir gently to combine.
- Garnish with a slice of lemon. (optional)