Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Classic Cocktails: Improved Whiskey Cocktail #2

Next up in a short series of posts of variations on the Improved Whiskey Cocktail, one that I decided to take in a rather different direction.

Improved Whiskey Cocktail #2
2 oz bourbon
1 tsp St. Germain
0.5 tsp Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash Fee's grapefruit bitters
1 dash Peychaud's bitters

Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a rocks glass. Squeeze a large piece of grapefruit peel on the drink and then add it as garnish.

The nose has a solid bourbon base, which is accent by floral and herbal notes from the liqueurs and bitters along with a healthy dose of grapefruit oil. The liqueurs give the drink an excellent mouth feel. The sip begins with moderate sweetness, which transitions through a burst of coffee, grapefruit and herbal bittersweetness, to pleasant bitterness with a different set of herbal notes (more from the Peychauds than the Chartreuse).

This was a much lighter version than the other two I've tried. I really like how much even small amounts of liqueurs could drag the bourbon in a new direction. It helps that Knob Creek is kind of middle-of-the-road in terms of rye spiciness, so it can be complemented in either direction.


  1. This looks really good. Any thoughts on whether a high-rye or a wheater would be a better bourbon for it? Would green chartreuse be too big for the mix?

    1. If you're going to use green Chartreuse, rye might be the better choice. A wheated bourbon might get lost (though OWA may have enough heft). Admittedly, you're only using half a teaspoon of Chartreuse, so it may not matter too much either way.