Bourbon Vs. Tequila – 6 Great Cocktail Recipes

Bourbon Vs. Tequila – 6 Great Cocktail Recipes

Many of you have heard me say that bourbon and tequila can be substituted for one another, though they are intrinsically different spirits. In this post, I have created three recipes using different varieties of each, in hopes of demonstrating that they can behave much in the same fashion, and share many similarities where flavor is concerned. 

But first, the facts. Each spirit has a wildly different maturation process. For example, many fine bourbons are aged in various barrel types; oak, sherry, port…the list goes on and on. In an interesting twist, bourbon does not obtain its name or nature until it has been aged in brand new oak barrels, which is almost opposite the case for tequila. The distillate, or bourbon before the process has been completed, is moved to new charred-oak barrels where the aging process begins. Aging can take anywhere from a scant two year to decades; the longer it sits, the better the taste in the end.

While bourbon aging is fairly consistent in nature, tequila varieties age at different intervals. Blanco, or as “Silver” tequila as it’s largely known in the US, does not require aging. It is bottled directly after distillation of the agave plant is completed. Reposado tequila is aged between two months and one year post-distillation, and Anejo tequila ages between one and three years. Many tequila lovers are familiar with the maturation process of the Blue Agave plant; a standard blue agave plant takes eight to ten years to mature to an age where it can be distilled. Because of this, tequila is often considered “pre-aged”. New barrels are discouraged in the tequila aging process, as used white oak tends to provide a more unique flavor. These barrels are often obtained from American whiskey distillers, yet another connection these two spirits share! 

Because of the similarities in the aging process, these two spirits tend to share a great many characteristics. When creating a cocktail recipe, the nature of the spirits used are key to the process. When writing the recipes below, I took into consideration how the spirits would create relationships, as that is really what cocktail-making is; relationships. I encourage you to try these variations at home. You may just find that there is something beautiful about this geographically-different spirit duo!

Original Recipe: “Mountain Above the Sea
2oz Basil Hayden Bourbon
.5oz House Maple-Bourbon Syrup
.25oz Fernet Branca
.25oz Yellow Chartreuse
Rinse: Ardbeg 10 Year Islay Scotch

Reimagined Recipe: “Cliff Above the Surf
2oz Don Julio Anejo
.5oz Agave Syrup
.25oz Fernet Branca
.25oz Yellow Chartreuse
Rinse: Montelobos Mezcal

Original Recipe: “Black Sails
2oz Herradura Reposado
.5oz Cynar
.25oz Cinnamon Syrup
2 dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters
2 muddled brandy cherries

Reimagined Recipe: “Black Flag
2oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
.5oz Cynar
.25oz Cinnamon Syrup
2 dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters
2 muddled brandy cherries

Original Recipe: “Blood & Chocolate
1.5oz Hornitos Reposado
.5oz Cointreau
1oz Lemon
.5oz Lime
2 dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Reimagine Recipe: “Dedication
1.5oz Bulleit Bourbon
.5oz Cointreau
1oz Lemon
.5oz Lime
2 dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Sources:

Bourbon Banter 

http://bourbonr.com/blog/bourbonagingexplained/

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