The artisan craze and the bourbon boom have led to a spike in small batch bourbon production. As the name states, this bourbon is indeed made in smaller batches. Typically, small batch spirits pour up a pre-prohibition style of booze, meaning they are in your face with flavor and aromas and there's no holding back on the alcohol. This puppy is 100 proof, but you would never know it. It's extremely smooth with vanilla and warm spices — perfect for pairing with orange essence.
Today's cocktail puts an orange spin on the classic Old-Fashioned with a fat slice of orange peel and orange bitters instead of the traditional Angostura. In these wintry months, I prefer the spice of rye instead of traditional bourbon, so into this drink went the Knob Creek Small Batch Rye Whiskey.
Pour one tonight and you'll see: you'll be craving this on Super Bowl Sunday, too!
1 sugar cube, or 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
3 dashes of orange bitters
Splash of club soda
Large peel of orange zest
2 ounces rye
In an old-fashioned, or short, glass place the sugar cube (or 1/2 teaspoon of sugar). Add the bitters and a splash of soda.
Use a muddler or a spoon to crush up the sugar until it is dissolved. I like to add the orange peel here too. Squeeze it to express the oils, run it around the rim of the glass and muddle it right in with the bitters and sugar. This gets the most fresh orange flavor into the cocktail.
Add ice and rye. Stir and enjoy.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices, and advice with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on twitter @maureenpetrosky
(Images: Maureen Petrosky)