A bourbon cocktail for any season


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Posted Online: May 06, 2014, 11:44 am
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By J.M. Hirsch
My son's fourth grade math homework has taught me an incredibly valuable lesson. About bourbon.

Inappropriate association, you say? Perhaps. But if a bit of bourbon is what it takes for me to safely usher my offspring through the woes of improper fractions, division patterns, quadrants and perimeter calculations, then I say pour me another round, and make it snappy.

Prior to the intrusion of fourth grade math into my life, I had rather set notions about cocktails and the liquors from which they are born. I considered them mostly seasonal items. Gin and tonics are suitable for spring, pisco sours and margaritas love summer, cranberry juice and vodka were made for fall, and mulled wine outside of winter was simply wrong.

Actually, I still believe in that. But as my son's math homework has carried through the seasons — the warm days of early September, the chill of November, the frost of February, and now the thaw of spring — I've learned that there is no season — and no volume of homework — for which bourbon isn't appropriate.

Of course, for a cocktail to be homework-friendly, it also must be simple. Clearly — and sadly — our focus must be on the math, not mixology. So in addition to being seasonal, my cocktails are blissfully simple to concoct.

Old Fashioned (spring)
My version of the classic old fashioned is more citrusy than sweet. Traditional recipes often include a maraschino cherry, but I find that it muddies the flavor.
Start to finish: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 large strip of orange or lemon zest
Dash of orange bitters
2 ounces bourbon
1 large ice cube

In tumbler or rocks glass, combine the sugar, zest and bitters. Using a spoon or muddler, lightly mash the zest into the sugar. Add the bourbon, then stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the ice.

Kentucky Tropics (summer)
Start to finish: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
1 small sprig fresh mint
3 ounces bourbon
2 ounces pineapple juice
Ice

Place the mint in a cocktail shaker, then use a muddler or spoon to lightly bruise it. Add the remaining ingredients, then shake until well chilled. Strain into a tumbler.

The Orchard (fall)
Start to finish: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
2 ounces bourbon
2 ounces apple cider
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Ice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, then shake well. Strain into a canning jar or some similarly laid back drinking vessel.

Grave Digger (winter)
Start to finish: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce red wine
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Splash of lemon juice
Ice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake until well chilled, then strain into a tumbler.


















 



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  Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river.
1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.




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