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.
A bourbon sour with creme de cassis.
Contemporary recipe: Jeffrey Morgenthaler, jeffreymorgenthaler.com
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz crème de cassis
- 0.5 oz simple syrup (1:1)
- 1 ds Angostura bitters
- Shake ingredients with ice until cold.
- Strain over fresh ice into an old-fashioned glass.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge, or if in season, fresh currants.
For a smaller serving, it is easy to scale this recipe down to 1 1/2 oz bourbon, 3/4 oz lemon juice, and 3/8 oz each creme de cassis and simple syrup (stacked to 3/4 oz in jigger).