2 oz. Irish Whiskey (John L. Sullivan)
2 dashes gum syrup
3 dashes Blackstrap bitters (Bittercube)
Stir with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
This cocktail features one of our favorite Irish whiskeys, John L. Sullivan, which gets its name from the last bare-knuckle boxing champion of the world, a man whose catch phrase was "I can beat any son-of-a-bitch in the house", and a man who often did. He was a true sporting man, a hero to those who frequented dusty saloons, who would admire his many portraits that were sure to grace the walls of such establishments while enjoying their choice spirits. It's quite the challenge to make a whiskey to honor a man with such a reputation, but Cooley Distillery is a choice distiller for such a task. John L. Sullivan whiskey is a blend of 4-10 year single grain and single malt whiskeys that have rested in single use American white oak bourbon barrels. The barrels imbue the whiskey with a rich oaked honey nose, a touch of citrus on the mid palate, and a spicy vanilla finish. We thought this would make a fine pairing with Bittercube's Blackstrap Bitters, which have a flavor profile of molasses, sarsaparilla, and ceylon cinnamon. At three dashes, the bitters really get a chance to shine here, and adds cinnamon to the nose and a general warm spice throughout the drink, in a cocktail sure to help us get us through the last days of winter. A touch of gum syrup from Small Hand Foods balances out the cocktail, and the citrus zest helps to pull out some of the citrus hints in the whiskey, as well as adding a bit of brightness. On a related note, Small Hand Foods Jennifer Colliau will host a DIY Sodas, Syrups, and Bitters course here in Portland as part of Cocktail Camp PDX on Sunday April 10th. If you have not yet purchased tickets you can here. Hope to see you there!