Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 13 – The Kentucky Bonfire. Conveniently, you can make this in a single portion or you can make a pitcher cocktail.
I know this is a good cocktail because I got my Mom drunk on it one time and she had a laughing fit. If that’s not a measure for tastiness, I don’t know what is.
This probably seems like a weird combination of ingredients: sparkling wine, port, simple syrup, bourbon, lemon, bitters and vanilla. In theory, it sounds like it would be a sickly sweet concoction not suited to anyone’s taste but YOU NEED TO TRY THIS.
The acid from the lemon and full-bodied oaky bourbon balance the sweetness from the port and syrup. The Prosecco gives the whole affair more lift that a well-fitted bra.
This was one of three feature cocktails that I prepared for my book club Christmas party and it got glowing reviews all around and didn’t last long. I know that I’m sharing 24 days worth of cocktails and am therefore talking about drinking a lot, but I’m a strong believe in hosting responsibly.
Please always have non-alcoholic beverages on hand, water, sparkling water, and ideally, mocktails on hand. Uber and Lyft have made it easy for people to get around without having to drive, but if one of your guests is driving, make sure they have a safe way to get home if they’ve been drinking.
If you’ll be serving cocktails, be sure to have lots of snacks so people aren’t eating on an empty stomach. Ideally, you’ll whip up something delicious from this here blog. One of my go-to cookbooks for cocktail party canapés is Party-Perfect Bites by Milli Taylor.
I don’t know who Milli is but with a name like that, I imagine she is some kind of flawless English rose who hosts many fabulous gatherings. Her canapés are delicious, if a bit complex at times. Serving tiny little nibbles that are perfectly presented really appeals to my Type-A personality and my ambition of being a foul-mouthed Stepford Wife.
So, if you have acres of time and endless patience, go nuts with Milli’s bite-sized appetizers and make this drink, with some mocktails on the side, for your guests at your next fête!
- ½ oz bourbon
- ½ oz port
- ½ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- 4 oz sparkling wine
- 1 vanilla bean, for garnish
- 1 lemon twist, for garnish
- 1 dash fig and cinnamon bitters
- ½ cup bourbon
- ½ cup port
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup simple syrup
- 4 dashes fig and cinnamon bitters
- 4 cups sparkling wine
- 1 vanilla bean
- 8 lemon twists, for garnish
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
To a wine glass with ice, add ½ oz bourbon, ½ oz port, ½ oz lemon juice, ½ oz Simple Syrup (recipe follows) and a dash of bitters. Top with 4 oz sparkling wine and garnish with a vanilla bean and a lemon twist.
To a pitcher or punch bowl, add ½ cup (125 mL) bourbon, ½ cup (125 mL) port, ½ cup (125 mL) lemon juice, ½ cup (125 mL) Simple Syrup (recipe follows) and 4 dashes bitters. Top with 4 cups (1 L) sparkling wine and add a vanilla bean. Pour into glasses with ice. Garnish each with a lemon twist.
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer, stirring often, until sugar dissolves completely. Let cool to room temperature before using. Syrup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Recipe slightly adapted from: Hunt, Michelle P.E. and Laura Panter. "Kentucky Bonfire," Food & Drink. Holiday 2015.