16 September 2013
Fields of Gold cocktail
Is it sufficiently fall-y out for me to start posting bourbon drinks? Yes?
The other night I wanted a single bourbon drink to sip slowly before going to bed. Since we still have two big bowls of tangerines hanging around, a bourbon-tangerine cocktail seemed like a good plan. So we did a bit of poking around the internet and discovered the Fields of Gold cocktail: a variation on a bourbon sour with honey and orange. Perfect.
The title is especially apt, since the color of the finished cocktail reminds me vividly of California poppies, and particularly of a bit in the very beginning of East of Eden where Steinbeck describes them: "These too are of a burning color--not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of the poppies." So if you haven't read East of Eden, there's one good reason to go get it.
Here, honey gets mixed with warm water to make an instant simple syrup. I normally use standard granulated-sugar-based syrups in my cocktails, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how well this worked. The honey dissolved easily, and the flavor was smooth and distinct. Now I want to experiment with some other simple syrups--maybe with maple? Something in the maple-bourbon-cranberry family definitely sounds like a worthwhile experiment as we move toward actual fall.
Look at all those seeds! These guys are really good, but every single one of them has at least ten seeds. That actually makes them perfect for cocktail-making instead of eating, since the strainer catches all the seeds of its own volition.
Switching out the orange slices for tangerine slices worked well, but made the overall result a bit more sweet than I'd prefer. If you're using a sweet tangerine, I'd recommend taking the honey down to 2 tsp, or even a bit less.
Fields of Gold cocktail
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp warm water
3 orange or tangerine slices
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 oz bourbon
ice to shake & serve
garnish: another orange or tangerine slice
Start by mixing your honey and water in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until the honey is dissolved. Add the orange slices and muddle well. Add ice, lemon juice, and bourbon, and shake well. Strain & serve over ice, garnished with the last orange slice.
What are you drinking as the weather starts to turn?