I work in a mezcaleria that is a fusion of Oaxacan and Southern flavors so wanted to create something that represented where I work utilizing my love for bourbon. Finding flavors that work with both mezcal and bourbon that played well together was a success in creating Sweater Weather which was my submission to the Bourbon Women Not Your Pink Drink cocktail competition landing me as one of 5 professional finalists. One judge claimed “it’s Christmas in a glass”.
1.25 oz Jim Beam Black Bourbon
0.75 oz Cranberry-infused Mezcal*
0.5 oz Rosemary Maple Syrup**
5 drops Cinnamon Tincture***
Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with sugared cranberries**** on cocktail toothpick and 2 inch rosemary sprig – carefully light the rosemary so it burns slightly and place into coupe.
*Cranberry-infused Mezcal: Add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries to 2 cups of mezcal in airtight jar/container. Let sit for at least 72 hours. After 72 hours, strain the liquid into a cocktail jar/bottle for use. Discard cranberries. Too stout to enjoy!
**Rosemary Maple Syrup: Use a high grade maple syrup and fresh rosemary. Simmer on low 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 cup of water. After a few minutes add 2-3 sprigs of rosemary. Let it simmer for a few minutes before removing from the stove top to cool. Once cooled, place into an airtight container. I kept the rosemary with the maple syrup for storage to marinate for more flavor.
***Cinnamon Tincture: Break 3-4 cinnamon sticks in half and place into an airtight container with 1/2 cup of vodka. Allow this to sit for at least 72 hours. Strain into a glass dropper bottle for use.
****Sugared Cranberries: Cranberries are a seasonal fruit but stores like Whole Foods do have frozen cranberries which I used. Thaw out the amount you want to use. If you don’t have simple syrup on hand, make some using equal parts water and sugar. You don’t need too much for this. Coat the thawed cranberries in the simple syrup and let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour then coat the cranberries with the sugar, covering completely. Let them sit another hour. I preferred placing them in the freezer to speed up the process a bit. Then they are ready for your garnish!