It is not often that I have a cocktail – most of the time I just want a couple fingers of bourbon or scotch in a glass that I can sip on while enjoying the pleasures of a premium puro. When I do decide to go down the cocktail route I prefer the classics, like a rye old fashioned or a whiskey sour – timeless classics that have stood the test of time.
Recently I stumbled upon a service called Bespoke Post, the details of that I will save for another article/review – needless to say, the curators of my monthly box selection hit the nail on the head when they picked the “Last Call” box, consisting of several cocktail mixers, syrups, and sodas from craft manufacturers around the country. One of those cocktail mixers was the Bittermilk No. 3 Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour.
Bittermilk is a company I hadn’t heard of before, which, not being a regular cocktail drinker is understandable I suppose, but boy am I glad I know about them now! Hailing out of Charleston, SC, Bittermilk manufacturers craft cocktail mixers and syrups, including their smoked honey whiskey sour mix, which according to their website is described as follows;
We’ve revived this old classic by smoking honey over bourbon barrel staves. Bitter orange peel and lemon make for a slightly tart and smoky cocktail. Honey adds a nice frothy head when shaken vigorously. Mixes best with bourbon but swap it out for tequila to make a slightly smoky Honey Margarita.
Now I haven’t tried the tequila option, but I did cozy up to a few drinks mixed with bourbon and rye, which were fantastic!
My go to, every day, sip it or mix it bourbon is Makers Mark, so obviously the first cocktail mixed with the Bittermilk was a Makers sour and the quality of the drink was fantastic. In my opinion, Makers is a little sweeter than other bourbons on the market, say compared to Eagle Rare or Bulleit, and this made for a cocktail sweeter than I typically like, however the smokiness of the honey and the tang of the citrus worked well to balance the drink out to something that didn’t resemble a 23-year-old co-ed’s spring break punch.
The star for me, was mixing Bittermilk with Old Overholt rye. Old Overholt was my first introduction to rye whiskey back in my early 20’s and has remained a staple in my liquor cabinet ever since. I love the peppery notes mixed with subtle fruit and strong grain – definitely not a sweet whiskey – and it worked flawlessly with the Bittermilk smoked honey whiskey sour mix. The smokiness of the honey mixed perfectly with the pepper and grain of the rye; the citrus mixed beautifully with the rye’s subtle fruitiness. Combined, it created an amazing well-rounded cocktail.
Needless to say, the Bittermilk rye sour is going to be a go to cocktail on my drink menu from now on, and my tendency to have a cocktail might increase as well.
If you get a chance to experience Bittermilk No. 3 I definitely recommend you seize the opportunity, and make sure you try it with your favorite whiskey, but don’t be afraid to experiment. I am looking forward to trying out some of the other offerings from Bittermilk, including their bourbon barrel aged old fashioned mix, and their New Orleans style old fashioned mix. Be sure you check out the Bittermilk website for information about their other mixers and syrups – you can also find a retailer near you using their retailer lookup, or simply order direct through their website.
And, if you’re interested in checking out a cool monthly subscription box, take a look at Bespoke Post – if you click the links in this article, you’ll get $20 off your first box! There are no commitments, you can turn down a box, or switch to a different box every month, and you can discover some pretty amazing items!