“You want a prediction about the weather, you’re asking the wrong Phil. I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.” -Phil Connors (Groundhog Day)
The oversize squirrel saw its shadow. We got 6 more weeks of winter coming. Somebody grab the bourbon.
Really nothing like depending on a pampered groundhog to set the tone for your weekend, am I right? Turns out the little bastard might be on to something. I glanced at the weather app this morning and saw a casual prediction for 6″ of snow next Tuesday! I am trying really hard to channel my inner Dane and embrace all things hygge, but around February I start to get really antsy. The very first spring birds show up outside, every clothing store has ditched all semblance of coats, sweaters and pants and moved full force into SPRING BREAK! And on top of that it doesn’t help that you wait wait wait for March, and then March comes and guess what– it’s still cold! Anyway I’m getting ahead of myself. Today is Friday. The sun is shining. The house is warm. Time for a cocktail.
Have you ever heard of Ale-8-One? Quick, close your eyes and say it three times fast. Do you hear it? “A Late One?” How fun.
Anyway, Ale-8, as it’s known, is a soda that hails from the great state of Kentucky. Living just a few hours north of the state, and having friends who bleed blue (as it were), I had heard of this soda and how delicious it is mixed with your favorite booze (specifically Kentucky bourbon), but had not ever tried it. Then, as if they were inside my head, I got an email asking if I would be up for receiving a sample of said soda, along with the news that they were breaking out of the Bluegrass state and starting to offer this delightful beverage in certain Kroger stores. A serendipitous moment THAT was, seeing as how just last week a brand new Kroger had just opened up down the street. Thus, a celebratory cocktail was born. Because that’s where I am right now in my life. Celebrating grocery stores.
Ale-8….this is going to be a big statement…might be the goldilocks of all ginger sodas. Ginger ale too sweet for you? Try an Ale-8. Ginger beer WAY too spicy? Try an Ale-8. It’s just gingery enough and lacks enough sweetness that it pairs really well with booze, on top of that there’s a hint of citrus! The combination of just-right ginger/citrus/bubbles combined with an ounce or two of bourbon is what the Groundhog ordered!
I thought I would take the classic combo one step further by adding just a little bit of Maple Syrup. This cocktail, traditionally known as a Nor’easter is made with ginger beer, bourbon, maple syrup, and lime. I tamed it a bit– obviously swapping the ginger beer for some Ale-8, and the lime for (you guessed it!) Meyer Lemon juice and garnish. The Maple syrup is just sweet enough (if you used ginger ale it would be overly sweet) and the kick of bourbon warms you from head to toe. Exactly what this Friday calls for.
2 oz bourbon
2 oz Ale-8-One Ginger Soda
1/2 oz 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 oz fresh squeezed meyer lemon juice
meyer lemon wheel, for garnish
Fill a rocks glass with clear ice.
In a cocktail shaker, combine a few ice cubes, bourbon, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Pour over ice, and add Ale-8. Stir gently and garnish with lemon wheel. Cheers!
Special thanks to Ale-8 for sending a sample of their delicious soda to me at no cost. All opinions expressed are my own based on my experience.
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