This time of the year, while a whirlwind of giving and celebration, is also an important time to look inward and consider your own fulfillment. My mixology craft has brought me so much satisfaction through the ability to grow creatively, the positive feedback loop with my followers, and the relationships I've been able to build with like-minded brands nationwide. The excitement of sharing something delectable and beautiful can truly cure me of any worry.
Earlier this month, I had the very special experience of getting a private tour and tasting at KOVAL, one of my favorite local distilleries. Learning about the brand gave me such a profound appreciation of KOVAL's innovation, attention to ingredient quality, and inspired brand design. I enjoyed every spirit and liqueur I sampled, but was especially impressed with the barreled gin and barreled peach brandy. Not only were both bottles absolutely stunning, but the spirits themselves were unique, well-balanced and begging to be mixed into a delicious beverage.
I figured the barrel-aged flavors of the gin and peach brandy would pair well but wanted to make sure both spirits were highlighted in the resulting concoction. Honey and Meyer lemon came to mind as the perfect complements. A honey simple syrup contributed smooth, buttery sweetness while fresh squeezed Meyer lemon and lemon twist garnish brought a touch of tartness and enhanced the cocktail's botanical profile. I also added a dash of ginger bitters to enhance the spirits' spice without diluting the drink's strength.
The result is a definite crowd pleaser for gin and whiskey drinkers alike with its sweet, lightly spiced body, balanced tartness and pleasant herbal finish.
The Fireside Pact
- 1 oz KOVAL barreled gin
- 1 oz KOVAL barreled peach brandy
- 0.5 oz honey syrup*
- 4 drops ginger bitters
- Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass over ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass, garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy over a spirited chat by a roaring fire.
*To make honey syrup, heat a half cup of honey and a half cup of water in a small pot at low heat. Stir frequently until honey dissolves to avoid boiling. Allow to cool and store excess in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.