This week's cocktail recipe is worthy of National Bourbon Heritage Month

Best served over a tall glass of ice — and on a lazy Sunday.

click to enlarge CHRIS FASICK
Chris Fasick

On Aug. 2, 2007, a bill sponsored by late Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky passed unanimously. The resolution declared September as National Bourbon Heritage Month (hey, the Republican party did something right) with both celebration and moderation in mind, and it also reinforced an act of Congress in 1964 that proclaimed bourbon to be “America’s Native Spirit.”

Fuck yeah, America.

This is important, because, as the rest of the country looks forward to the anticipated fall release of pumpkin spice lattes, we whiskey people have a whole month to get down with the sweet brown nectar that’s been, legally, dubbed ours. The universe always finds a way of balancing itself out, friends.

Our latest cocktail calls for none other than bourbon — it’s a holiday, after all. But since the following recipe is a drink mixed with a few other ingredients, we won’t need anything top-shelf. Hello, Jim Beam.

Jim Beam has been around for more than 200 years. It seems like only in the spirit world can a brand have that sort of staying power, and deservedly so. As impressive as the popular booze’s run is, Jim Beam also has the distinction of being the whiskey that got me into bourbon oh-so long ago with Red Stag. Slightly sweeter than the flagship formula, the black cherry whiskey was the first bottle of bourbon I ever purchased, and the first I could down straight up.

Since the temps around our region aren’t cooling down for Bourbon Heritage Month, I thought we’d make something refreshing, which is where ginger beer and freshly squeezed lemon juice come in. We pair that duo with in-season blackberries and tart rhubarb to pull off a one-of-a-kind, balanced and easy-drinking cocktail worthy of a nationwide celebration.

Bourbon isn’t really the star here, so the drink is great for whiskey and non-whiskey sippers alike. It’s best served over a tall glass of ice — and on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

click to enlarge CHRIS FASICK
Chris Fasick

Total Eclipse of the Tart

Makes 1

Blackberry Rhubarb Syrup:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

5 blackberries

12-15 frozen rhubarb slices

In a small saucepan, bring your water to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Incorporate the blackberries and rhubarb, then start stirring occasionally until your mixture returns to a boil. Remove it from the heat and allow to cool. Once your mixture’s chilled out, strain it into a glass container. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 month (if it lasts that long).

Cocktail:

2 ounces bourbon

1 ounce Blackberry Rhubarb Syrup

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

3 ounces ginger beer, to top

Lemon wheel

Add the bourbon, Blackberry Rhubarb Syrup and lemon to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled. Strain your cocktail into a Mason jar filled with ice, topping the whole thing off with ginger beer. Using a bar spoon, give the drink a gentle stir — just enough to incorporate the ingredients. Garnish with your lemon wheel.

Connect with CL columnist Chris Fasick (@cfasick) on Twitter, or email him at [email protected] if there's a cocktail or recipe you'd like featured.

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