As a formerly picky eater, it’s interesting to me to occasionally take a step back and observe how far my taste buds have matured and how much my palate has evolved. Nowhere is this more apparent than in my alcoholic beverage preferences. I spent my twenties as most of us Americans do: in a sea of cheap, bottom-shelf liquor consumed only with super-sweet, also cheap, mixers. If you’d told me back then that my mid-thirties’ palate would be in love with stiff cocktails that are drunk by, you know, grown-ups, I would’ve laughed you right out of the room.
And yet, here we are. Not only do I prefer my drinks much, much stiffer, I’ve noticed that my favorite mixed drink has gradually migrated from a margarita to an old fashioned. I’m a little obsessed with them now, and I love trying different twists on the classic drink. Since pecans always remind me of November and the Thanksgiving and holiday season in general, I thought this was an appropriate time of year to try out this recipe.
I love it when I’m right. 🙂 This drink is stiff yet very warming, perfect for crisp, fall evenings. The honey flavor is strong but never overwhelming, and you must, must, MUST toast your pecans first – otherwise you won’t really taste them at all. I found the pecan flavor much more subtle, but toasting the nuts first ensures that it’s definitely there.
I absolutely LOVED this drink. Fortunately it makes extra honey syrup, which is sitting in the fridge, beckoning me to have another round. Enjoy!
Source: Down South by Donald Link
2 tbs honey
½ oz. honey syrup
3 pecan halves, toasted
2 oz. bourbon, preferably Buffalo Trace
3 drops coffee or chicory bitters
1 strip of orange peel
First, make the HONEY SYRUP: heat the honey with 2 tbs water in a small saucepan. Simmer briefly until thickened, then let cool before using. This will make about ½ a cup. Save the leftovers in the fridge. You’ll want another drink!
To make the DRINK: in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass, muddle the honey syrup and pecans. Add the bourbon and bitters, and swirl to mix. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into an old-fashioned or rocks glass filled with ice. Express the oil from the orange strip into the glass, then wipe the rim of the glass with the twist. Serve immediately.
As written, this makes 1 drink.