1.5 oz. Bourbon (Michter's US *1 Small Batch)
1 oz. Averna
1/3 oz. Blood orange juice
1/3 oz. lemon juice
2 dash cherry bark vanilla bitters (Bittercube)
1/4 inch vanilla bean
Top with vanilla bean soda (opt.) (Dry Soda)
Shake all ingredients except soda (if using) over ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with soda. Express lemon oils with zest over cocktail. Discard zest.
This cocktail was created with vanilla as the star ingredient. Bourbon and Averna have a natural affinity and herbaceous richness, and Michter's US*1 Small Batch Bourbon is a top choice and excellent candidate for this drink. Blood orange juice was used for color and flavor, but any orange juice can be substituted. We had to play with the ratios a bit, the first version was made without lemon juice, but the following attempt included lemon juice which helped to brighten the flavors and pull out cherry and cocoa notes and a lively tartness not quite achieved with the blood orange juice alone.
Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters further complement the Averna, and add floral, fruit, and spice complexity as well as further evoking the chocolate notes in the Averna with its own hint of cocoa . For a lighter cocktail, try topping it off with Dry Sodas Vanilla Bean one example from Dry Soda's portfolio that showcase how natural ingredients, lightly sweetend with pure sugar, and champagne-style small-bubble carbonation can yield fantastic and exciting results with endless pairing options.