(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

My favorite way to create variety in mixed drinks is to make flavored simple syrups. Simple syrup is just water and sugar, and throwing in spices, herbs, fresh fruit, or juices adds a unique twist without having to buy additional liqueurs or other cocktail ingredients.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed I do this quite a lot - like in my Ancho Chile Manhattan, Fig, Vanilla Bean + Gin Cocktail, or Ginger, Lime + Five-Spice Cocktail. You can get creative by digging through your pantry or refrigerator and seeing what flavor combinations you can come up with!  

This recipe uses the same trick. Ground turmeric stirred together with sugar and water create a rich, golden syrup that's amazing with bourbon. I used Heritage Distilling Co.'s Dual Barrel Old Fashioned Ready Bourbon, because it has a hint of orange that's perfect for this drink.

And this time of year, the cold winter weather makes me want something creamy and comforting, so I added full-fat coconut milk. (You could also try using some cream or half-and-half if you're not avoiding dairy, although I do think the flavor of the coconut milk works really well in this drink.)

Grab a friend, shake up a couple drinks, sip, and enjoy!

(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail
Yields 1 cocktail

2 ounces bourbon (I recommend using Heritage Distilling’s Dual Barrel Bourbon)
2 ounces full fat coconut milk
1 ounce turmeric simple syrup (see recipe below)
Ice
Ground turmeric or cinnamon sticks (for serving)

Add the bourbon, coconut milk, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds then strain into a chilled glass. Serve with an extra dash of turmeric or a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

Turmeric Simple Syrup
Yields about 6 ounces

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ teaspoon turmeric

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring often, until the sugar melts and the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. 


For this post, bourbon was provided by Heritage Distilling Co. All opinions are 100% my own.


Ancho Chile Manhattan [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

Ancho Chile Manhattan

It's the first snow day here in the Chicago area! The timing couldn't be more perfect. We set up our Christmas tree yesterday, and there's nothing sitting by the fire while the snow quietly falls. And to make room for the tree, we moved our TV to the basement...a move we're hoping will be a permanent one.

Ancho Chile Manhattan
Ancho Chile Manhattan

That means that if I want to enjoy the fire, falling snow, and twinkling lights, I have to do so without the accompaniment of The Office reruns or football games. We're not about to get rid of television all together, but at least this way, watching something won't be my immediate default. The option is no longer sitting there staring at me. It's a change I'll probably hate for the first couple weeks, but I think overall it'll be for the better.

I'm hoping to spend more time reading, which to me is the perfect cozy wintertime activity...and a good book requires a good beverage.

Ancho Chile Manhattan

I first started playing around with this recipe a few months ago, when I was trying to figure out how to use the huge stash of ancho chiles I acquired. Yeah, random, I know. My brother was using ancho chiles for something and had extras, which then ended up at my house. So, if you've been following me for a while and you're wondering why I have two ancho chile posts in the last couple months, now you know why. (There will probably be more to come, too.) 

This drink is a twist on the Manhattan, one of the most quintessential cocktails. Part of me doesn't want to mess with the perfection that the Manhattan already is, but then again, I can't help but change things up. I used Elk Rider Bourbon Whiskey from Heritage Distilling Company, and instead of the traditional angostura, this version uses orange bitters. The sweet vermouth is partially subbed out for ancho chile simple syrup, which gives this a spicy kick.

It's a cocktail that will warm you from the inside out - perfect for snow days, by the fire, with a good book in hand. 

Ancho Chile Manhattan

Ancho Chile Manhattan
Yields 1 cocktail

Cocktail
2 1/2 ounces bourbon (such as Elk Rider Bourbon)
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce ancho chile simple syrup (recipe below)
2 dashes orange bitters
Strip of lemon or orange zest
Ice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, along with a handful of ice. Stir well, for about 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass. Serve with a strip of lemon or orange zest. 

Simple Syrup
1 ancho chile
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Cut the ancho chile in half, and toss it in a small saucepan (along with all the seeds). Add the water and sugar. Heat over high heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar melts and the mixture comes to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, and simmer about 5-7 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. The syrup will thicken slightly as it cools.

Strain out the chile and the seeds using a fine mesh strainer. Store syrup in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Yields about 10 ounces of syrup.

P.S. Need an affordable cocktail shaker set ? Click here to check out the one I have!


Elk Rider Bourbon was provided by Heritage Distilling Co. All opinions are 100% my own.

Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts [with buttered whiskey glaze]

Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts

I wasn't a huge doughnut (or donut, if you prefer) fan until I got pregnant. Pregnancy will do that to you...especially a twin pregnancy. I had all these grand ideas of eating healthy and exercising throughout those nine months and, well, that happened for about a week. Especially towards the end, it was Netflix binging and doughnut eating. Oh, and bagels. And Chick-Fil-A. And whatever else. Don't worry, I did eat healthy things occasionally, too...but only occasionally (hence the postpartum Whole30 my body desperately needed a few months later!).

Anyway, back to doughnuts. After I had the kiddos, I bought myself a doughnut pan, stalked my favorite food bloggers' sites for recipes and eventually got around to baking up these bad boys. (Might I suggest checking out The Faux Martha and Joy The Baker for further doughnut inspiration?)

While my post-pregnancy sweet tooth did dissipate slightly and I'm learning to tame the sugar dragon, there are just some days when you need a doughnut. And if you're going to eat a doughnut, make it a good one - like this banana bread version sweetened with maple syrup, served warm from the oven and drizzled in a buttery whiskey glaze. Go big or go home, my friends. 

Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts

Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts with Buttered Whiskey Glaze
Yields 6-8 doughnuts

½ cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup mashed bananas (about 2 small bananas)
¼ cup buttermilk
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon whiskey (I used Bulleit Bourbon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the bananas, buttermilk, maple syrup, butter, egg, whiskey and vanilla until fully combined and smooth.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined. Pour batter into a pastry bag (or you can use a zip top bag and snip the corner of it). Squeeze the batter into the prepared doughnut pan, filling each compartment about ¾ full. 

Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. All to cool for a couple minutes and then remove from the pan. Drizzle with Buttered Whiskey Glaze. Doughnuts are best served warm. 


Buttered Whiskey Glaze

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon whiskey (I like to use bourbon)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Scant pinch salt

Add all ingredients to small saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and butter is melted. Remove from heat and drizzle over Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts.

Blood Orange Boston Sour

Blood Orange Boston Sour | Sarah J. Hauser

In addition to the Manhattan, Old Fashioned and a few others, the Whiskey Sour is no doubt one of the quintessential whiskey cocktails. It's relatively simple as far as mixed drinks go, requiring just lemon juice, sugar, whiskey and a cherry or lemon garnish. If you haven't ever tried this classic, I highly recommend it. But of course, I couldn't help but change things up a little. 

Blood Orange Boston Sour | Sarah J. Hauser
Blood Orange Boston Sour | Sarah J. Hauser

This recipe for a Blood Orange Boston Sour finds its roots in the Whiskey Sour, but adds freshly squeezed blood orange juice and an egg white. Yes. You read that correctly. Egg white (which is what makes it a "Boston Sour").

Blood Orange Boston Sour | Sarah J. Hauser

I remember the first time I had a cocktail with an egg white in it. I read the description on the menu of one of our favorite restaurants and was definitely a little weirded out. I took the plunge and ordered it anyway...and I'm so glad I did! Egg whites add a slight fizz and a layer of froth, providing texture to the drink that's hard to replicate with any other ingredient.

And when it's shaken up with lemon, blood orange and bourbon? You've got the perfect balance between refreshing and warming, smooth and effervescent, sweet and tart. 

Blood Orange Boston Sour | Sarah J. Hauser

Blood Orange Boston Sour
Yields 1 cocktail

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce egg white (requires about 1 small egg)*
Ice
Orange slice

Add the bourbon, orange juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with the orange slice. Serve and enjoy!

*Use fresh eggs if possible, or if you prefer to avoid the raw egg, you can leave it out. You won't have the frothiness of a Boston Sour, but you'll still have a delicious Blood Orange Whiskey Sour.