I recently visited a Farmer’s Market in search of tayberries (sadly, I didn’t find any) but came across a stand with black, white and red currants. Now blackcurrants are no stranger to the spirits world – with well known ingredients like Creme de Cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) and Ribena (blackcurrant syrup) there are many well known recipes that use blackcurrant-based products in them. Some common ones that I’ve served up as of recent include Snake Bites and Kir Royals. Nevertheless, intrigued by the less common white and red currants I decided to pick up a few pints and make some home made cordials out of them. The result? A delicious and beautiful alternative to simple syrup.
2.0 oz Wild Turkey Bourbon*
1.0 oz White Currant Syrup**
In a cocktail shaker add the ingredients over ice. Don’t forget to slap that mint to activate the oils. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with additional mint and white currants and serve. Also, if you’re so inclined, pour in a bit of soda or lemon-lime pop to add some effervescence to the drink.
*Why Wild Turkey Bourbon? Well while Wild Turkey is best known for their “101” blend (aka 50.5% ABV) their 81 proof edition is much more drinkable (and less ‘burny’) for those new to whisky. This straight bourbon is mingled for taste to drink neat, resulting in a balanced bourbon that has less heat than the 101 alternative. The mash is a high rye content and it’s aged in heavily charred oak barrels for a minimum of six years which results in flavours of caramel, honey, vanilla, custard and as the Master of Malt notes: hot crossed buns. Now who wouldn’t want a bit of white currant marmalade all up on those buns to round out this cocktail?
**To make the white currant syrup, de-vine 1 cup’s worth of white currants. In a sauce pan add 1 cup of white currants, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of berry sugar. On medium heat bring to a boil and then turn down to low heat and let simmer until the currants split/separate from their skin. Then through a fine strainer, strain mixture and get rid of seeds and skins. Refrigerate and enjoy!