Bourbon Renewal

Bourbon Renewal cocktail in an old fashioned glass with a bottle of Lejay creme de cassis

For my first post, I’ll start with one of my all-time favorite cocktails, one that I’ve been making the longest.

Back when I got into home bartending over a decade ago, a friend—the same one who got me into the hobby itself—introduced me to Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s blog. From there, Morgenthaler’s Bourbon Renewal became my go-to drink for guests. It was a reliable hit: friends and family, of all levels of experience and openness to something containing whiskey, loved the drink. I served the Bourbon Renewal to everyone. Fast forward to 2016, I was proud to have proved a good influence when two of my friends chose it as a featured drinks at their wedding reception. The Bourbon Renewal seems to having its moment, enjoying reincarnation as one of three canned Jeffrey Morgenthaler cocktails which I hope to find next time I’m on the West Coast.

The Bourbon Renewal is a variation on a whiskey sour, which traditionally contains whiskey, lemon juice, sugar/simple syrup, and an optional egg white. Here, the sugar portion is replaced with a split between simple syrup and crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur), along with a dash of Angostura bitters. The cassis with bitters add depth and spice, and that plus the lemon make a dry, tangy sour that invites one more round.