Three Southern Cocktails to Commit to Memory

Because family-togetherness-time often goes down better with bourbon.

IS THERE A BOTTLE of bourbon hanging around Aunt Sally’s? Good. Grab a sugar cube from the coffee corner, snag an orange from the fruit bowl and you’re halfway to cocktail hour. With a little preparation—you know, having some mint in your jacket pocket and a bottle of bitters tucked in next to the casserole you’re contributing—these three Southern concoctions, shared by The Capital Hotel’s Tim Stramel in our April 2015 issue, are an easy-to-whip up antidote to all those awkward political convos you’re sure to be sucked into before it’s dinnertime this holiday season.

Sazerac

Add a handful of ice to a double old fashioned glass; set aside. In the bottom of a shaker, soak a sugar cube with 5 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters and 3 dashes of Angostura bitters. Muddle. Add 2 ounces of rye whiskey; shake with ice. Empty the glass; then add a splash of Herbsaint, an anise-flavored liqueur; roll until coated. Pour off excess; then strain the whiskey-sugar mixture into the glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Mint Julep

Add a small handful of mint leaves (without stems) to a julep cup. Muddle gently. Add crushed ice to the cup. Pour 1 ounce of mint simple syrup (boil 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 cup mint leaves; strain through sieve) and 2 ounces of bourbon over ice. Garnish with mint.

Old Fashioned

In the bottom of a double old fashioned glass, soak a sugar cube with 2 to 3 dashes of Angostura bitters, a couple drops of orange bitters and a dash of water. Add an orange slice and 4 brandied cherries; muddle gently, being careful not to mash the orange’s rind. Fill the glass with ice; add 2 ounces of bourbon. Stir and serve.