This month, we thought we’d have some fun with bourbon cocktails. Bourbon, that most American of spirits, is rich and sweet and brown and ideal for fall cocktails. We had in mind lots of dark, brooding bourbon cocktails for fall, but suddenly we find ourselves with temperatures near the 80s in November, so we’re starting out the month a little differently, with a drink that fits this weird in-between weather we’re having, the Kentucky Mule. – Andrew
The Kentucky Mule
2 oz Kentucky Bourbon
3/4 oz Lime Juice
4-6 oz Ginger Beer
Combine the bourbon and lime juice in a copper mug or highball glass filled with crushed ice, then top with the ginger beer. Give the drink a stir, garnish with a mint bouquet, and enjoy!
The Kentucky Mule is a descendant of the Moscow Mule, a drink invented in the 1940s as gimmick to convince Americans to drink more vodka. At the time, American drinkers were apparently more discerning and had not yet fallen in love with the Russian spirit that is – by U.S. law – odorless and colorless and flavorless. (In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not a fan of vodka, because I wouldn’t drink a tasteless spirit any more than I would eat a flavorless steak.)
The combination of tart lime and spicy, zippy ginger beer offers a smooth and easy template that you can apply to spirits with actual flavor. Like bourbon. The Kentucky Mule has those rich, oaky notes of the bourbon, but is a refreshing, effervescent drink with a lot of pep to it.
Bourbon is a whiskey made from at least 51% corn. That corn lends bourbon a sweeter profile than other whiskeys, that same sweetness you get when you bite into a roasted ear of sweat corn on the Fourth of July. Not all of it is made in Kentucky, but a lot of it is, and it gets its name from the eastern part of Kentucky that was once called Old Bourbon and contains, fittingly enough, Bourbon County. This is where American colonists found huge tracts of land perfect for growing corn, and bourbon eventually would come to outstrip rum and rye whiskey, the original American spirits.
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Glassware by Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper