Boo! How you doin’? No reason to boo-hoo—don’t cry, Halloween isn’t just for kids. You, too, can relax—in or out of costume—with a cool bourbon-based cocktail. In Los Angeles we can’t send the kids out for trick or treat this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to be deprived.
Why not whip-up this Haunted Graveyard Halloween cocktail. It’s perfect for a Halloween party (even if it’s only for two) as it combines the tastes of fall—bourbon and maple—for a cool drink that warms you up. Plus, the creepy smoking rosemary adds a bit of spooky fun. Everyone loves a bit of theater and this maple-bourbon and orange cocktail is sure to leave you properly haunted.
1/2 cup good old American bourbon
1/3 cup American maple syrup
1 cup ice
4 orange slices
4-6 shakes of bitters (see ChefSecret)
1 sprig rosemary
large ice cubes
1 or 2 sprigs “smokin’” rosemary
ChefSecret: If smoking rosemary isn't your thing, you can either garnish the cocktail with an orange slice or curl of orange zest. Or use the rosemary but don't set it on fire. The fresher your rosemary the less likely it is to easily set on fire and the more likely it is to just smoke. You can leave the final rosemary garnish out of the cocktail completely. You will still get a little woodsy rosemary taste from shaking the cocktail together.
If you want to garnish this with something less smoky then you can add a wedge of orange, orange peel or garnish with fresh rosemary or better yet add a small piece of dry ice and it will look smokin’ good.
Mixing Notes: What are bitters you ask? Bitters are a concentrated mixture of alcohol and bitter or sour botanicals. The most iconic bitters is Angostura Bitters. It has the label that is too big for the bottle. This was a staple in every one of my restaurants. I know of some chefs who use it cooking some of their sauces.
Before the pandemic closed down most of the hospitality industry, craft bars made bitters very popular and more and more varieties are becoming available. The flavors range from normal like orange, grapefruit and lime, to downright bizarre like Mexican mole, cumin, smoky BBQ and celery.
Covid-19 quip of the Day: “If schools are closed for too much longer, parents will find a vaccine before the scientists do.”
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