Portland, Oregon's Clyde Common is home to the Bourbon Renewal. When we asked bar manager Jeffrey Morgenthaler to recommend a fall drink that was easily made at home, this was near the top of his list.
Made with bourbon, fresh lemon juice, crème de cassis, simple syrup, and a dash of Angostura bitters, the Bourbon Renewal takes the standard whiskey sour to the next level. Although there's more bourbon than anything else, the strong berry flavor of the crème de cassis was the first thing to hit us. Combined with the simple syrup and lemon juice, the liqueur definitely tames the strong tones of the spirit. You do, however, still get the oak coming through the fruity drink.
Make no mistake, this drink's on the sweet side, fruity and rich, but with much better flavors than you'd get from any store-bought sour mix. True bourbon fans may want to bring down the simple syrup a little bit, but we found it highly enjoyable as is.
Note: If you like your drinks on the dry, tart side, consider starting with 1/4 ounce simple syrup and adding more to taste. To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce fresh juice from one lemon
- 1/2 ounce crème de cassis
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (see note), or less to taste
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Add bourbon, lemon, crème de cassis, simple syrup, and bitters to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass.