Blackberry Vanilla Bourbon Lemonade – Scandalous as the Whiskey Ring, sweet as a Southern sunset. Easy refreshing cocktail recipe #drink #beverage #happyhour
Bourbon is a style of whiskey unique to the United States. To legally be called bourbon, it must be made in the United States and contain at least 51 percent corn. For two years it is aged in new, charred oak barrels. During the late 1700s, this variety of whiskey made in Bourbon County, Kentucky was transported on flatboats throughout the South. Over time it became known as whiskey from Bourbon, then later as bourbon whiskey.
Bourbon was the drink of choice for Ulysses S. Grant, but whiskey-related corruption in his administration left a bad taste in the mouth of many Americans. A clandestine group of government officials and politicians conspired with whiskey distributors to tap millions of dollars in federal liquor taxes. Grant’s own secretary, General Orville E. Babcock, was involved in the scheme. He and others were eventually exposed by secret agents in a scandal that became known as the Whiskey Ring.
Like the Whiskey Ring, this sweet Bourbon Vanilla Blackberry Lemonade is infused with a hint of scandal. Both naughty and nice, it’s a refreshing and crisp drink best sipped on the porch on a lazy summer afternoon. Yes, it’s currently the middle of winter… a girl can dream!
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- 2 cups blackberries
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cups water
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups bourbon
- Rinse the blackberries clean and place them in a medium saucepan with the peppercorns and a vanilla bean that has been split in half lengthwise with a knife. Cover with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a medium simmer and let the berries cook for about 20 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the top. After about 20 minutes, remove from heat. Strain the berry liquid through a fine mesh strainer into another clean pot, separating the solids from the liquid. Do not press down on the solids to extract more juice; it's tempting, but doing this will make your syrup cloudy.
- Once the blackberry liquid has been strained, discard the solid berries and vanilla bean. Add 1 cup of sugar to the liquid. Bring back to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar into the syrup. Let the syrup simmer for 5 minutes till the sugar is completely dissolved, skimming any additional foam that rises to the top. Remove from heat, pour into a cool bowl, and allow to cool completely (you can stick it in the fridge to speed up the process if you like.
- Pour the cooled simple syrup into a pitcher. Stir in 2 cups fresh lemon juice, 2 cups of water and 1 cup bourbon. Add ice to the pitcher. Taste; you may stir in up to 1/2 cup more bourbon for a stronger kick, if you'd like. Alternatively, you can omit the alcohol and add water or sparkling water to taste. Serve each glass cold garnished with fresh lemon slice and fresh blackberry. I like to skewer them with a wooden skewer for pretty presentation. Sip and enjoy responsibly!
Note: Cocktail can be made kosher using kosher-certified liquor and bottled beverages. I’ve only used liquors and ingredients that can be easily obtained with a kosher hechsher. For kosher-certified alcohol choices, check out the links below: