If I were given some sort of quiz on classic cocktails, I would fail miserably. Granted, I’ve never worked as a bartender, so why would I know? Unless you’re asking for something like a Gin & Tonic where the ingredients are listed right there in the name, I’m probably going to have to do a quick Internet search before I can make you a drink.
For example, for this month’s lemon-centric recipe, I was like “Oh, I know! I’ll make a whiskey sour, except for the sour . . . I’ll use lemon.” Well you know what? Whiskey sours usually call for lemon. That’s just the standard sour part of the drink. Oops! Guess I wasn’t really being all that original, huh? Oh well, I still got to drink this Lemon & Rosemary Bourbon Sour, so all was well.
But still, one of my favorite ways to put a modern twist on any classic cocktail is by using a homemade flavored simple syrup as the sweet element. Classic simple syrup is literally just 1 part granulated sugar and 1 part water, gently heated until the sugar dissolves. It could NOT be simpler. And for very little additional work, you can make an infused simple syrup by doing something as simple as throwing some herbs, whole spices, or fruit peels into the mixture as it heats.
Bourbon used to be my “winter liquor,” and I would stash it away during the warmer months, where I’d opt for vodka or gin. Now, I enjoy bourbon year ‘round, but I still think it tastes better in the colder part of the year. Call me crazy. And to me, rosemary screams “autumn!” to like no other herb, with the exception of possibly sage. This Lemon & Rosemary Bourbon Sour recipe is meant to be a cocktail that you can enjoy now, and all the way through the chilliest time of year.