Smoke and Oak Bourbon | West Wind Hardwood

How could I step back from a cocktail with this name like this?  As I’m not a ‘bourbon’ drinker I cannot offer my two-bit on this; will need my “Bend, Oregon” friend, Bill to comment.  Stay tuned!

sun-tea-smokeBourbon Drink:  Two-By-Four

Image & recipe from Smoke: New Firewood Cooking; By Tim Byres; Rizzoli International Publications Inc

1 tsp sorghum molasses
2 ounces Sun Tea, made with bourbon***
Splash of Drambuie
1 Twist Lemon
Splash of barrel-aged bitters, or Tennessee Whisky

Drizzle the inside of a rocks glass with the sorghum syrup to create a stained-glass effect, and then gently add ice.  Pour in the Sun Tea and add a splash of Drambuie and the lemon twist.  Finish with a splash of bitters.

*** Sun Tea

In the South, you sometimes see large glass jars of water set out on the porch to infuse with tea throughout the afternoon.  There’s no tea in this version, but the concept is similar.  Infused spirits can be left to soak for longer/shorter periods depending on the strength of flavour wanted.  Save the soaked plank for grilling.  Do let it dry out so the alcohol will evaporate and not cause a grill flame up.  Once dry, the subtle flavour of the bourbon will transfer to the food.

In a large glass container with a lid, submerge the wood in the spirit and allow it to soak for 2 days.

Maple compliments bourbon; Tequila pairs with Western Red Cedar.  Pass the spirit through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve in a clean, dry jar.  Drink straight or in mixed drinks – as above.

1 (750-ml) Bottle of Bourbon
1 (2×7”) Maple Wood Plank

grilling salmon on cedar plankThis recipe led me to the traditional internet search on bourbon.  With always an eye to a ‘wood’ connection, this comment caught my attention……….bourbon’s “smoke and oak” flavour brings out the best in the grilled chicken, the same way Ginger Rogers brought out the best in Fred Astaire. 

I also found this fabulous article about bourbon and food pairings.  It reminded me of the article, Smokin’ Hot, I wrote on the nuances of different wood species used in smoking and grilling.  Check out Newsletter Vol. 12 before the summer is completely over and the grill has been put to bed for the winter.

Read “Bourbon is Bold and Pairings are Tricky” by Carol Deptolla of the Journal Sentinel.

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