Because this is Derby week, and because Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, you might reasonably expect that today’s cocktail is a version of that old Derby standard, the mint julep. Unless, that is, you are a regular reader of the Bourbon Babe and therefore know that a mint julep is just about the last bourbon cocktail I would ever mix/drink/offer to you. It’s heresy, I know, especially coming from a Louisville native. (I don’t really like Hot Browns, either, but don’t spread that around.)
No, today’s cocktail is one that Tim Laird, Brown-Forman’s “CEO” (Chief Entertaining Officer), recently shared with “Lambert and Lindsey,” hosts of a local morning radio show, when they visited the Woodford Reserve Distillery. Bourbon mixed with maple syrup and lemon juice and garnished with a strip of bacon, it would be the perfect way to start your Derby day - not too sweet, with the bacon giving it a jolt of savory flavor.
BOURBON MAPLE MORNING
1 1/2 ounces Woodford Reserve bourbon
1/2 ounce pure maple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into rocks glass with ice. Garnish with cooked bacon strip.