During these times of #stayathome and social distancing, we are coming up with creative ways to enjoy cocktail hour and food/beverage tastings with friends. My friends at Ragged Branch Bourbon in Charlottesville, Virginia recently sent me samples of their lovely bourbons. I shared the bourbon with our friends, Mary Ellen and Bill who I consider “Bourbon Aficionados”. I poured samples of the bourbon in little jars and prepared little food treats to pair with each bourbon. I delivered the sampling to their house and we had the identical tasting at our house so we could compare notes after the tastings.
I chose the food pairings based on the taste notes of each bourbon from the Ragged Branch website: https://www.raggedbranch.com. I also referred to the book What to Drink with What you Eat (Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page) which is my “go to” reference for food/beverage pairings.
Here’s more details on the fun we had tasting bourbon:
Our overall favorite was the Ragged Branch Signature Bourbon.
We enjoyed the Double Oaked Signature Bourbon with caramel dark chocolate. Rich and luscious. This bourbon has hints of caramel and dark chocolate in it, so it was a perfect pairing!
I paired the Virginia Straight Rye Whiskey with Bruleed Orange Wheels (recipe: https://bubblybee.net/award-winning-ragged-branch-bourbon-cocktails-stayathome). This was one of my favorite pairings. Our friends served it with ice and recommended cutting the orange wheels in half for consumption ease. Eat the entire orange wheel including the rind!
Ragged Branch Wheated Bourbon won the Double Gold Medallion at the 2020 prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. We tasted the Wheated Bourbon with toasted pecans. Mary Ellen suggested adding a little “kick” to the pecans such as a pinch of cayenne pepper. I paired the wheated bourbon with cinnamon rolls. I liked the pairing probably because of the wheat in the cinnamon roll paired with the wheat in the bourbon, but the rolls were a bit too sweet for a bourbon tasting.
To top off the evening we enjoyed an Apricot Marmalade Cocktail…
Rising Sun Cocktail
Makes one cocktail.
Place cocktail glass in freezer to chill while making the cocktail.
1 1/2 parts Ragged Branch Signature Bourbon
1/2 part Apricot Brandy
1/2 part Lemon Juice
1/4 part Simple Syrup
1 tablespoon Apricot Marmalade
Shake over ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a key lime slice and maraschino cherry or a bruleed orange wheel.
Find delicious recipes on the Behind The Page Blog: theroanoker.com
Southern Spoonful Recipe Column ~ The Roanoker Magazine
You are invited to visit my Facebook page: Bubblybee
Please follow me on Instagram: bubblebeeboop