Not All Bourbons Are Created Equal


And in a pinch, Jim Beam simply will not do. At least not for this drink. The cocktail was the Ginger Bourbon Fizz. It sounded like a lovely summer drink – something a bit different from the mint juleps and mojitos and G&T’s that dominate the season. Give me some fresh ginger and I can usually be appeased – add some bourbon to it and I’m happy as a clam. Except in this case. On paper, it sounded thrilling – bourbon, and a simple syrup that had been steeped with fresh ginger coins and peppercorns. Just enough to balance the sweetness – then topped by club soda to add the fizz. But not all bourbons are equal, and I should have known not to skimp on the key ingredient.

Maker’s Mark is my preferred way to go, but the liquor store next door was out of it (such is the sorry state of affairs in my neighborhood). They were also out of Knob Creek, which a friend had suggested as a decent substitute. Not knowing much beyond that (my preference has always been for the clear stuff, especially in summer) I pulled out the bottle of Jim Beam and hoped for the best. It was just so-so, and soon enough the Ginger Bourbon Fizz had fizzled out, so much so that I could only stomach one. (That almost never happens.) I may try it again with a proper bourbon, but for now the fizz is flat, and I don’t feel like wasting a cocktail hour on this until the fall.

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