Top Bartenders Give Us Woodford Reserve Cocktails Perfect for Fall Food Pairings

Bourbon, rye and everything nice come together in these incredible fall cocktails.

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Edible Manhattan has partnered with Woodford Reserve and the Culinary Institute of America for a Bartenders’ Symposium, happening November 29 at the Hyde Park campus. In anticipation of this great event, we’ve gotten top participating bartenders from around the city to give us recipes for amazing Woodford Reserve cocktails and the dishes they pair with best.

Topher Mikels
img_20160503_104935Cocktail: Swing Rye Over
2 ounces Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
¼ ounce Strega
¼ ounce Cherry Herring
2 dashes Mole bitters

Add all of the ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice and stir for about 30 revolutions. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an expressed orange peel.

Pairs with: Braised Short Rib over Sautéed Fall Root Vegetables
The drink pairs well with these bold fall flavors because, like the braised short rib, the smoky starting point of both the dish and the cocktail give way to spicier middle flavors like dark chocolate and peppercorns before ending smooth and on the sweeter side with the taste of baked cherries. All the while, you never forget what you are drinking; it is a whiskey cocktail through and through, and it balances well with a bold and sophisticated short rib.

Young Kim

img_0640Cocktail: Woodford Iced Tea
Woodford Iced Tea is made with Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon, plum tea, Calpico lychee, mint and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It is a highball-style cocktail with a touch of Asian flavor.

Pairs With: Turkey Meatballs
The freshness of mint and lemon with exotic Asian ingredients will stand up to the fat and full flavors of meatballs. It’s a bourbon-marinated meatball with a bourbon highball.

Eamon Rockey

signebirck_eamonrockey_1-11Cocktail: Old Dog Shandy
35 mL Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
20 mL Hardwood Smoked Honey
15 mL malt vinegar
5 mL malt syrup
50 mL malt-forward beer of choice (quantity variable to taste)
Tobacco tincture

Combine whiskey, honey, vinegar and beer in chilled glass; fill with crushed ice. Mist the top of the drink with tobacco tincture and sip through a straw.

Hardwood Smoked Honey: Combine honey and water in equal parts and place in a smoker until all water is dissolved and honey has been infused with the flavor of smoke.

For Tobacco Tincture: Steep Virginia pipe tobacco in un-aged corn whiskey overnight, strain and place in atomizer.

Pairs with: Betony’s Classic Grain Salad
The salad is 5 different toasted grains accompanied by labne, fresh sprouts and a lemon vinaigrette.  The malty cocktail and rich, grain-focused whiskey are a perfect match for the creamy, hearty salad.

Sean Kelly

headshotCocktail: The Modern’s Bourbon Cocktail
1¼ ounce Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
2 ounces Red Jacket Apple Cider
¼ ounce Lustau East India Solera Sherry
¼ ounce St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur
¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
¼ ounce honey syrup (2 parts honey; 1 part hot water)
Burnt cinnamon stick (for garnish)

The ingredients are steamed with an espresso wand, or heated together on a stove top. It is garnished with a burnt cinnamon stick.

Pairs with: Apple Tarte Tartin with a Calvados Sabayon Cream and Fromage Blanc Sorbet
The Modern’s Bourbon cocktail pairs superbly with this dessert. The matching fall spices and orchard fruit flavors link the drink perfectly with the tarte tartin. The body and richness brought by Woodford Reserve Bourbon, and a subtle nuttiness from the sherry make the drink a wonderful way to finish the meal. The drink is served warm to enhance the aromatics, and to provide a pleasant match to the warm apple tarte.

Rick Borrero

fb_img_1474912292687Cocktail: His Boulevardier 
½ ounce Honey Simple Syrup
1 ounce Campari
2 ounces Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Fernet Branca rinse
Flamed orange peel

Rinse coupe glass with Fernet Branca. Stir first four ingredients for 30 seconds, then julep strain into coupe glass. Flame orange peel, express and place in glass.

Pairs with: Roasted Sea Scallops and Corned Beef Cheeks with Cabbage and Quail Egg
As with wine, I prefer contrast, so I love the way a good Boulevardier cleans my palate only to enjoy another bite of my roasted sea scallops. I simultaneously enjoy two worlds at the same time.

Tim Fitzpatrick

image1Cocktail: Per Se Cocktail
Bar spoon ginger syrup
Short half maple syrup
Dash Angostura bitters
Dash chocolate bitters
2 ounces Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
Spritz absinthe
Twist

Serve in a rocks glass with one ice cube.

Pairs with: Coffee and Doughnuts
The cocktail was inspired by one of our legacy dishes at Per Se. “Coffee and Doughnuts” is a cappuccino semifreddo served with warm cinnamon-sugared brioche doughnuts. The cocktail plays off the cinnamon spice with warm flavors of ginger and bitters, both chocolate and angostura. The bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, also carries notes of chocolate and warm spices. The cocktail is served with one large, hand-cut ice cube that has our Per Se emblem emblazoned in the center of the cube.

Miguel Alvarado

image1-1Cocktail: Red Herring
2 ounces Woodford Reserve Kentuky Straight Bourbon
1½ ounces Dubonnet Rouge
3 bar spoons Herring Cherry Liqueur
Whiskey barrel aged bitters

Pairs with: Grilled Lamb Chops, Soft Polenta, Fall Vegetables
The hints of smokiness and tobacco from the bourbon lend themselves well to lamb, cutting the gaminess of the meat.  The red fruit complements the lamb remarkably.  

 Shawn Chen

shawn-chenCocktail: About Last Night

1 ounce Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
¾ ounce Kaffir lime washed creme Yvette
¾ ounce Malmsey 5 years Madeira
¼ ounce Luxardo Marashino Liqueur
¼ ounce lillet blanc
Black tea, smoked

Build ingredients on mixing glass. Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass, stir vigorously and strain over into glass bottle with tea smoked and seal. Let it sit for 30 seconds and pour over into coupe glass garnish with Kaffir lime leaves.

Pairs with: BBQ Grilled Duck, Lychee and Crispy Lotus Chips
This cocktail pairs nicely with our grilled duck skewer because it accentuates all the amazing flavors that our chef injects into the dish. The duck is tender, savory, smoky, and the lychee adds a dash of sweetness. The About Last Night cocktail mimics a similar flavor composition to create a perfect symphony on the palate without sacrificing the integrity of Woodford Reserve Rye whiskey.

Woodford Reserve cocktails are available at these retail locations:
Sons of Essex
Flatiron Room
Betony
The Modern
Tavern 62 by David Burke
Per Se
Perrine
RedFarm
Decoy Bar

This post is sponsored by Woodford Reserve.

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Alicia Kennedy is a Long Island–born, Brooklyn-based food writer and recipe developer.