Last night I had the opportunity to hang out with some amazing local bartenders, bar owners and distribution people at the Basil Hayden Art of Craft event, here in Seattle. I love these kinds of parties because I get to meet all kinds of folks involved in my chosen industry. And I get to show off my developing cocktail chops. While I was having fun sampling my shrubs just mixed with a bit of seltzer water, I also got to make a tasting cocktail that featured the Basil Hayden bourbon, which was the star of the evening.
Manhattans are my go-to cocktail, and I am a big fan of the way they interact to having shrubs added to them. They’re also a fantastic option for the cocktails-at-home novice, because they require easy to source ingredients. You can also batch make a Manhattan, so they’re fantastic for entertaining (something to consider with the holidays coming up). I suspect this may be the signature cocktail for my Thanksgiving table this year.
I love the way this came together. Sometimes blueberry cocktails can taste overly sweet, and bourbon is a pretty sweet spirit to start with. But, the high percentage of rye in the Basil Hayden puts this into an almost Bourbon/Rye hybrid territory with taste. That, combined with the Broker’s Bitters and the cinnamon note in my shrub, really gave this cocktail a fall sensibility. It has lots of woodsy, earthy, spice notes with a pleasantly fruity finish.
Manhattan in Blue
2 ounces Basil Hayden bourbon
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth, I used Dolin but if you have a preferred Vermouth use that instead
3/4 ounce Blueberry Cinnamon shrub
3 dashes Broker’s Bitters
Orange twist OR 1 dash Scrappy’s Orange bitters
In a cocktail mixing glass, combine all ingredients. Fill the glass with ice, and stir well (about 30 seconds). Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an orange peel twist if using.