Have you ever been surprised by a drink and happy you were able to drink it. I have on more than one occasion but this past Memorial Day while talking smart and solving world problems I was lucky enough to enjoy a few of Jim’s Sweet and Sour Ginger Cocktails.
I can already tell this drink will be my obsession this summer. It has all the elements citrus and ginger for refreshment, whiskey for the kick and a little sweet for good measure.
I must confess….
Jim made the perfect drink for a picnic. This is his drink.
Jim’s Original Cocktail
I would not have thought of this on my own. I am confessing that I changed the ingredients slightly for Tripping Vittles. Jim used an Evan Williams Bourbon Whiskey and I have switched my whiskey to a Woodford Reserve Rye. Jim also used lemonade concentrate in his drink I am using simple syrup and Homemade Sweet and Sour.
This does not make my drink better it just tells a different story.
Bourbon and Rye
If you remember back a few months my mom and I went on a Tripping Vittles adventure to the Bourbon Trail. You can read about it here
On that trip I learned all about making whiskey. What makes a bourbon? 51% or more corn never less makes it sweet and delicious. What makes a Rye? 51% or more rye never less for the spicy kick you find in a bottle.
The mash that starts out the Rye usually has corn and malted barley but rye is the grass from the wheat family that makes it zesty and delicious. In bourbon the abundance of corn in the mash makes for a sweeter finished product. Both rye and bourbon are aged in new charred white oak barrels.
As I discovered on the Bourbon Trail there are as many nuances to bourbon as to wine and it makes for some fun and interesting discoveries in cocktail creation. The same can be said for rye, there are many flavors and ways the rye can be presented.
Why I went with Rye
I love Bourbon and I am just getting to know Rye. Rye seems to me to be the wild little sister of Bourbon. Distillers are playing with it taking it down dark roads at high rates of speed like the old moonshiners did in the prohibition years.
If you sip rye you will get some stone fruit flavors mixed with some burnt vanilla then a bit of spice can hit you, cloves and nutmegs along with black pepper. I like rye because I love those flavors.
All the flavors Compliment the ingredients to Jim’s Sweet & Sour Ginger Cocktail. Ginger and citrus pair well with everything a good Rye can throw at you.
Let’s Make it … Jim’s Sweet and Sour Ginger Cocktail
You will note at the end of the recipe I have included a shopping list. If you buy anything off that list I will make a small commission from that sale…. You will notice I have included a ginger ale on the list. I find ginger ale a fascinating soda. The vanities and different flavors are fun to play with stronger, sweeter more bold or super mellow.
I love to try different ginger ales. My favorites include the Canada Dry produced in mass you all probably know the name, its tasty and refreshing and it can settle an upset stomach. The ginger ale I drink the most is Vernors from Detroit. I was introduced to this bubbly gingery drink when I moved to Ohio and have very rarely looked at another ginger ale the way I look at Vernors. I love this stuff! So as you can imagine when I have to add ginger ale into a drink Vernors is what I use.