Today, was a special day for all of us in Wisconsin. It was the first day of the year where the temperature reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit. We hadn't come anywhere near 80 degrees yet this year. For the first time since last fall it felt like summer. The sun was shining, and strong spring winds were blowing. I've been working my way through Beach Bum Berry Remixed trying every cocktail and sharing my thoughts on each one. How appropriate that the next drink in Beach Bum Berry Remixed is the Bourbon Special. The Bourbon Special is a 1950s cocktail that originated at the Kon-Tiki restaurant chain.
As I sat outside, on the patio, for the first time this year I tried the Bourbon Special. It is made with fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, falernum, ginger beer, Bourbon, and Angostura bitters. As always, it is important that you use fresh ingredients. This cocktail is another true masterpiece! The first sip coats your pallete with several flavors. First you taste the lime juice which is nicely sweetened by the sugar syrup. The falernum adds a hint of spices and a touch of almond which complement the lime nicely. A nice ginger flavor also comes through from the ginger beer. The oaky flavor of the Bourbon comes through but is just the right amount to complement the other ingredients of this special cocktail.
The first time I made a Bourbon Special I forgot the bitters. I actually liked this version better than the one with the bitters. The bitters seems to hide the spices from the falernum and the ginger beer. I liked the falernum flavors more pronounced. I tried one other variation of the Bourbon Special. I substituted the Bourbon with Roaring Dan's Rum. This Milwaukee rum has a flavor that is similar to a whiskey. However, the rum didn't really pull it's weight in the drink like the bourbon did. The cocktail almost tasted like limeade. I like limeade, but it didn't have such a great variety of flavor without the Bourbon. I'm always amazed a how different a cocktail can taste with just one small change.
My favorite version wound up being with Bourbon, but without bitters. I think that is just my personal taste though. Even if you aren't a Bourbon or whiskey fan I would recommend trying this cocktail. The strong Bourbon flavors that are too much for many peoploe are offset by the other ingredients. I think this is a drink anyone can enjoy. It was a fine way to kick off patio season.
As I drink my way through Beach Bum Berry Remixed I'm reviewing each cocktail and sharing my thoughts. I'm not giving out the recipes. It wouldn't be fair for me to give all the recipes out of the book. There would be no reason to buy it then, and everyone who worked on this fine book deserves to be rewarded for their hard work by you buying a copy.