This past Friday, I got some amazing news - I discovered that I had passed my latest actuarial exam, meaning that I am now only 1 exam away from total freedom and a fancy pantsy professional designation. Total freedom meaning more time to focus on things like cocktail adventures. Needless to say, I was a slightly hyperventilating, prancing mess of a person. When I finally made it home that evening, I was greeted with a congratulatory bottle of goodness from my wonderful husband. He had noticed me excitedly mentioning apricot liqueur on multiple occasions and thought it would be a great way to mark the occasion. It certainly was.
Why was I so excited about apricot liqueur? I had tried it in cocktails when going out and had always been impressed at how accurate and bright the apricot flavor was. Some flavored liqueurs stray very far from the original fruit and end up tasting more medicinal than fresh. Apricot liqueur is not part of that unfortunate category. Will picked up this particular bottle at our local Binny's - which we love due to the vast selection and knowledgeable staff. Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur is a delicious Austrian-made mixture of eau-de-vie apricot brandy and ripe apricot juice. Not going to lie, we couldn't resist just drinking some of it on ice - and I highly recommend that you buy it if you enjoy fresh apricots in booze form.
I chose to mix the apricot liqueur with a sweeter liquor - and bourbon fit perfectly. Basil Hayden's Kentucky Bourbon worked especially well because it added a hint of spice. I also experimented by adding basil to enhance the freshness of an otherwise strong cocktail and balanced it out with some lemon juice and water. Bitters are optional but I found that including a few drops of aromatic bitters highlighted the spice element I was looking for in this cocktail. The result was pleasantly sweet and spicy with a lovely hint of herbal bitterness.
The Mountain View
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz apricot liqueur
- 1 oz filtered water
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- Sprig of fresh basil
- Couple drops of aromatic bitters
Set aside one small basil leaf for garnish and place the rest of the basil in the cocktail shaker. Add bourbon and muddle the basil and bourbon mixture. Add remaining ingredients and several ice cubes, then shake vigorously until the shaker is frosted. Strain into a stemmed glass, making sure you have shaken the cocktail enough to form a light froth. Top with the small basil leaf and enjoy at a cozy chalet overlooking a glorious mountain view.