Whisky is my drink of choice with bourbon being my favorite, then whisky, scotch, Irish whisky, and finally rye but never and I do mean never flavored whisky. Straight, over ice, and swirled in a cocktail, I’m always captured by it’s poetic and complex layers of smooth and spice. I have a collection ranging from expensive and hard to find (only to drink on birthdays, amazing occasions, and those few concrete hard days that require it) to everyday sippers — I even have a bourbons for each season. Sadly, this presents a conflict in a sommelier-driven wine-dominated house when obscure bottles of wine are begging to be opened and the husband just glares in disgust when I’d rather have a bourbon on the rocks with dinner. Then one night, all of that changed when the husband came home and poured me a Double Eagle instead of waging war with wine.
Being a sommelier and a wine rep, he still has to know a thing or two about spirits and I was quite impressed he made a cocktail I had never dreamed to create. A lot of times two different cocktails get entangled with the same name. This cocktail, The Double Eagle, is a huge twist and disfiguration of an older cocktail of sweet flavored whisky and lemon juice baring the same name. Really the only thing in common is the lemon. Story has it that the reinvented Double Eagle was born recently in Arizona by a mixologist and it’s nothing short of knock-your-slippers-off amazing!
A refreshingly tart and complex cocktail with a touch of sweetness, the Double Eagle is an icy drink combining bourbon, the bitter orange liqueur Aperol, simple syrup, lemon juice, and basil. This makes for one of the most invigorating bourbon cocktails for summer — which in my book is pretty hard to do when whisky dominates winter drinks.
Bourbon and Basil – The Double Eagle
First off, this is a very simple cocktail to make and I’ve even had success turning into a light pitcher drink by quadrupling the recipe and adding club soda. It all starts with the right bourbon. As per the original recipe, I’m using Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Whisky which is also my summer bourbon of choice because it’s very light. Then a touch of the bitter orange liqueur, Aperol, a homemade simple syrup, basil, and lemon.
You will need a standard shaker and a muddler. Begin by muddling lemon and basil together. The original recipe calls for Thai basil. Unfortunately, I can never find it in the stores and was not able to find any seeds to plant in my garden this year. So standard basil will certainly do as a sub.
Then it’s a quick combining of the remaining ingredients and a shake with ice.
Finally, a strain, a pour…
and a garnish of basil and a grapefruit peel.
Like I said, this is a very refreshing and distinctively delicious cocktail that deserves a lot of attention this summer. I hope you give it a try and please let me know what you think. Cheers!
A refreshingly tart and complex cocktail with a touch of sweetness, the Double Eagle is an icy drink combining bourbon, the bitter orange liqueur Aperol, simple syrup, lemon juice, and basil.
- Juice from half of a lemon (about .75 ounces)
- 1 small basil sprig (about 3-4 leaves)
- 2 ounces Basil Hayden's Bourbon
- 1 ounce Aperol
- .75 ounce simple syrup*
- Garnish: 1 grapefruit peel and a basil flower or leaf
- Glass: Martini
- In a shaker, muddle the lemon and basil until the basil is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add bourbon, Aperol, simple syrup and fill with ice.
- Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with grapefruit peel and basil flower or leaf.
by Meredith Steele
* To make simple syrup, bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir and remove from heat. Allow to cool. Store in a tight bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.