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October 24, 2013

Do you like this?

Our man on the bar stool finds fall tasty at Easy Bistro

Now that fall has officially shown up, the time is just right for something a little warmer and soothing than lemonade on Grandma’s front porch.

So, fiddle-dee-dee, I went in search of something with a bit more substance...bourbon.

I found myself at Easy Bistro in the old Coca-Cola bottling plant in downtown Chattanooga. 

I met with mixologist Laura Kelton, who was kind enough to take time from her busy day to spend a few minutes with me to lay out some of the finer points of what they had to offer.

The first concoction she slid across the granite bar top was a little number she’s coined, “The Bait & Switch.” 

Basic ingredient: Angel’s Envy Bourbon.

This bourbon was created by the recently late Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson. Angel’s Envy is worth coveting. Aged up to 6 years in charred white oak barrels and finished in ruby port wine casks, it has a deep, rich flavor.

Laura complements it with an herb and fruit liqueur, white vermouth, peach bitters and puts it in a glass that’s been rinsed with scotch. She then tops it all with a flame-kissed orange peel that causes the essential oils to flow and mix into one of the most delicious drinks I’ve had in a loooong time.

While I was like a boy floating in warm water over that one, she began mixing our second taster of the afternoon.

The “Block Party” is made with Bulliet Bourbon, which is characterized by having a high  rye content for a bourbon (at approximately 28 percent). This gives it a pretty heavy backbone.

It’s paired with a house-infused pear vodka, Amontillado, orange liqueur, lemon, mint and cinnamon.

It’s definitely a more pungent cocktail that will sure spark your inner pilot light!

Thirdly, before Laura had to catch her wings to get to Portland’s Cocktail Week, she whipped up a cocktail using Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Woodford is from the oldest distillery in Kentucky, It was also created by Lincoln Henderson and is from only copper-pot still and triple distillation process used to handcraft bourbon today. Did I mention it’s the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby?

With this, she added an herb and fruit liqueur, sweet vermouth and her famous (to me) flamed orange peel.

This is another belly-warmer with a nice bitter hint and fruity-herby aftertaste—the perfect ending for the afternoon.

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