Cocktail history is replete with hidden gems that have been obscured by time, only to be rediscovered and celebrated by a new generation. One such jewel from the annals of mixology is the ‘Improved Whiskey Cocktail’. As the name suggests, many, including myself, regard this drink as a direct upgrade on the classic Old Fashioned.
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The Historical Allure of the Improved Whiskey Cocktail
The Improved Whiskey Cocktail has roots that stretch deep into the 19th century, a time when bartenders were experimental wizards, playing with new ingredients and formulations. Yet, despite its rich legacy, this particular cocktail gradually faded from the spotlight. It’s a melancholic realization, given its exquisite flavor profile and the innovation it brought to the traditional whiskey-forward mix.
The Star Ingredient: Whiskey
Every cocktail has its hero, and in the Improved Whiskey Cocktail, it’s undoubtedly the Whiskey, in my case Maker’s Mark. This bourbon, with its rich and mellow flavor, serves as the foundation of the drink. Its warmth and notes of caramel are elevated beautifully by the supporting ingredients.
Capturing Michigan in a Bottle: Absinthe Violette
Ann Arbor Distilling Co‘s Absinthe Violette is a remarkable ode to Michigan’s diverse natural landscape. Embracing the age-old trio of wormwood, fennel, and star anise, this absinthe adds its own twist with regional treasures such as hops, linden, and the fragrant elderflower. Its radiant violet shade is an invitation in itself, transitioning to a calming lavender when blended, offering a visual spectacle alongside its aromatic complexity.
For a consistent and aromatic touch, use an atomizer to mist the absinthe into your glass. It ensures an even coat, invoking the spirit of absinthe without overwhelming the palate.
Improved Whiskey Cocktail Tasting Notes
The Improved Whiskey Cocktail is a symphony of tastes. The sweetness of the Demerara syrup and maraschino liqueur dance with the herbal undertones of the bitters, creating a balance that’s both complex and harmonious. The mist of Absinthe Violette adds a fragrant layer, teasing the senses before the first sip even touches your lips. With each taste, the essence of Maker’s Mark shines, providing a sturdy backbone to the ensemble.
In conclusion, the Improved Whiskey Cocktail is more than just a drink. It’s a journey through time, an exploration of flavors, and, undoubtedly, an improvement on a beloved classic. Cheers to the timeless art of mixology!
Improved Whiskey Cocktail
- 2 oz Maker’s Mark
- 0.25 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
- 0.25 oz 2:1 Demerara simple syrup
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- Stir all the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice.
- Spritz Absinthe Violette into a chilled rocks glass
- Add a large ice cube
- Strain the cocktail over it.
- Finish by garnishing with a Luxardo cherry.