A Gentleman’s Cola

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by Raul Faria

when the Order of Gentlemen calls, one must rise to meet the challenge. One the Order’s Ambassadors, Miss Cami Novak, challenged me to create a cocktail for the Las Vegas Cocktail Classic this year and I came up with “A Gentleman’s Cola”. It is a combination of the twice mellowed Gentlemen Jack, CioCiaro Amaro, Dry Soda Vanilla, a little lemon and a saffron, cinnamon and vanilla bean infused Mexican Coca Cola Syrup. It’s an easy to drink sipper (sometimes a little too easy) with a softer effervescence than a straight Jack & Coke. Lots of flavors from the infusion and the Amaro, all backed up by the super smooth Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack. Ready to imbibe with the Order of Gentlemen?

1) Let’s get our tools together; we will need our Boston Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer, a 14-16 oz Collins or cooler glass, a Jigger with a 1 oz and a .5 oz measure. For our prep we will need a fine mesh or Double-strainer, a Tea Ball, a pairing knife and a large Boiling Pot. Our shopping list will consist of Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey, CioCiaro Amaro, Angostura Bitters, Lemons, 2 Liters of Mexican Coca Cola, Saffron, Vanilla Beans and Cinnamon Sticks.

2) Time to get our prep out of the way-

Infused Mexican Coca Cola Syrup– lets begin by getting our tea ball and inserting ½  of one split vanilla bean (simply cut in half with the pairing knife then cut that half through the middle), ½ teaspoon of saffron. Add the loaded tea ball and 1 cinnamon stick to the pot. Pour in our 2 liters of Mexican Coca Cola. Next bring the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once that has been achieved, reduce heat to simmer and allow mixture to reduce. A 2 liter batch will more than likely reduce in 3-4 hours and should yield about 4 oz of syrup. This recipe will also allow for 2 more liters of cola and if you need more simply double up the recipe for a max of 1 full teaspoon of saffron, 1 vanilla bean, 2 cinnamon sticks and 8 liters of cola that will reduce to 16 oz of syrup. The empty bottle make a snazzy container for your syrup as well.

3) In our mixing glass we can add our .5 oz of infused Mexican Coca Cola syrup. Mexican Coca Cola is pretty easy to find in Hispanic Specialty grocery stores and is considered the best due to the fact that it is made with cane sugar. The stuff in the USA sadly has high fructose corn syrup. If you are having trouble finding the Mexican Coca Cola then try Colas that are made with cane sugar at places like Whole Foods, Sprouts or Trader Joes.

4) Now we can add our .5 oz of fresh lemon juice. Simply slice the lemon and feel free to squeeze directly into the jigger or we can utilized our double-strainer to catch all the pulp and seeds and strain into a separate container for later use if you plan on making more.

5) Lets add our 1 oz of CioCiaro Amaro. Based on a secret recipe this Amaro has been around since 1873. It has flavors of bitter orange, anise, cinnamon and for me….cola. Thats why I knew Id be using this amazing liqueur to back up the cola notes I was looking for in this cocktail. CioCiaro is also great straight oout of the bottle and is the key ingredient in the cocktail classic Picon Punch (due to the fact that Amer Picon is no longer available in its traditional form, a tale for another article). What is an Amaro you ask? Well in brief it is an herbal style of liqueur produced in Italy that typically combines bitter barks, herbs, plants, flowers and citrus oils to create unique flavors. They are traditionally considered digestivos or digestifs and are consumed after meals. I dissagree with tradition here as I think anytime is a good time for some CioCiaro 🙂

6) Time to add the star of the show, our 2 oz of Gentleman Jack. Gentleman Jack is a Tennessee Whiskey, which by law is defined as Straight Bourbon originating from the State of Tennessee. Bourbon must be aged in new, freshly charred American Oak barrels, must also be made in the USA and must contain a mashbill consisting of at least 51% corn. Bourbon must also be distilled to no higher than 80% ABV, barreled at no higher than 62.5% ABV and bottled at no less than 40% ABV. To be called “Straight” Bourbon it must meet all the previous requirements plus it must be aged at least 2 years and have an age statement listed on the bottle if has not been aged 4 years or more. Straight bourbon must also have no added coloring agents or un-aged nuetral grain alcohol added. So again in a nutshell Tennessee Whisky is Straight Bourbon made in Tennessee. There is however one more unique process attributed to Tennessee whiskies and that is ‘The Lincoln County Process” of maple charcoal filtration. This is not a legal requirement of Tennessee Whisky and is a point of contention with some whiskey makers in the great State of Tennessee.  Now consider this, every bottle and style of Jack Daniels, the most famous, popular and iconic American Whiskey in the World, utilizes this process. Gentleman Jack is twice mellowed meaning it has undergone the Lincoln County Process of filtration twice for an amazingly smooth Tennessee Whiskey.

7) We are now going to add three dashes of Angostura bitters to the mixing glass.

8) Now that we have all our ingredients in our mixing glass (except the dry soda vanilla). Lets add ice and Shake!

9) Strain into chilled, iced 14-16 oz Collins glass and top off with 2-3 oz of Dry Soda Vanilla. Dry Soda is a low sugar, all natural brand of sodas that are focused on flavor not sugar. They have an entire line of cocktail friendly flavors like cucumber, juniper, pear, cherry, ginger, blood orange, rhubarb, lavender, lime, apple and of course vanilla. They are perfect for long drinks, sippers and to mix with a single spirit. Try your favorite gin with the Dry Soda cucumber or maybe some Finlandia vodka with a little Dry Soda Lavender or even some Jack Daniels Honey with some Dry Soda Lime, endless combos.

10) Garnish with a lemon wheel and serve. Enjoy!

A Gentleman’s Cola– 2 oz Gentleman Jack, 1 oz CioCiaro, .5 oz Infused Mexican Coca Cola Syrup, .5 oz of lemon juice, 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters, Shake/Strain, into chilled, iced 14-16 oz Collins Glass, top off with Dry Soda Vanilla, quick, light stir to distribute or top off at the same time you strain, garnish with lemon wheel.

 

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