Today I’m sharing with you a cocktail based on my favorite donut – the Blueberry Donut cocktail. This cocktail was always going to be one I put together for this week. It’s one I love to dunk in a cup of hot coffee and I could easily eat half a box of them in one sitting.
(I’ve already got a Maple Caramel Long John and Pecan Sticky Bun cocktail for you from earlier in the week, so if you’re a donut lover go check those out as well.)
What I love about this cocktail and a blueberry cake donut is that super sweet glaze that you crunch through to get to a soft, blueberry cake. The best blueberry cake donuts taste like a sweet blueberry compote, full of vanilla and intense blueberry flavor.
Now there are two ways you can build the blueberry flavor into the cocktail. If you have blueberry liqueur, use that, but I didn’t have any on hand. So I experimented with creating the cocktail with both wild blueberry powder (used here for garnish, but I bought it for yogurt and smoothies) and by using blueberry jam.
I preferred the flavor using the wild blueberry powder as it was much less sweet, but it doesn’t fully dissolve in the cocktail. It makes it look a bit polka-dotted in the cocktail. The jam/preserves however, are gorgeous in the cocktail, turning it into a that dark magenta color you get when you crush a blueberry.
Before I started playing with berries, I hadn’t considered blueberries as a good match with whiskey and bourbon specifically. However, after trying to recreate the taste of a blueberry cake donut, I’ve found that it can be a wonderful pairing if you choose the right whiskey.
If you’ve been on my blog for a bit you’ll know I use aroma to tell me if two flavors will pair well together, and what I’ve found with the blueberry flavors is that a well-balanced, unaggressive bourbon will pair very well and support the fruity notes of the cocktail. Four Roses small batch, Woodford Rerserve, Michter’s bourbon (and rye, actually) and Old Bardstown all work well. My Wild Turkey expressions didn’t match well in a blueberry cocktail that didn’t include a sour element.
When you build the cocktail, get out a few different bourbons, add all the ingredients except bourbon to the cocktail. Alternate smelling the bourbon with the cocktail to see which aroma matches best with the cocktail in the shaker. For me, aroma is the deciding factor in pairing cocktail elements. It’s not 100% accurate, but I’d say my nose is right 80% of the time. But go for a fruity, more complex whiskey that’s well-balanced and not driven by a single note.
It occurs to me while writing this that I did not try an Irish or Scotch whiskey for this cocktail and it might be absolutely fabulous with the sweet grain taste you’d get from a barley-only mashbill. If only I had a bottle of Woodford Reserve’s single malt! If you try it with Scotch or Irish whiskey, please let me know in the comments below.
For those of you curious about the other recipes in the Quarantine Series, I’ll put them here before you skim past to get to the recipe. Quarantine Juleps, (Breakfast Julep, the Pineapple Sage Rum Julep, Elvis Julep (peanut butter-banana), Root Beer Float Julep, and the Persian Julep (rose-apricot) ), Quarantine Old Fashioneds (Breakfast Wakey Wakey, Smoke and Spice, Home School, Taco Truck, and Campari/Bitter Lessons ), Quarantine Manhattans (Balanced Perfection (Perfect Manhattan), Coffee Manhattan, Chocolate Ginger Manhattan, French Quarter Manhattan, and the Caramel Orange Manhattan.), Quarantine Whiskey Sours (Blackberry Sunset, Whiskey Tiki, Blue Mood Orange, Ya Basic, and Peach Rosemary), and Quarantine Smashes (Whiskey Smash, Blackberry Sage Smash, Pineapple Tiki Smash, Strawberry Basil Smash and the Coffee Cherry Smash.)
Blueberry Cake Donut Cocktail
- 2 oz bourbon
- ½ barspoon wild blueberry powder (or add 2 barspoons of wild blueberry jam/preserves)
- ¼ oz Tuaca
- ¼ oz Monin’s blueberry simple
- ¼ oz Monin’s cupcake simple
- ½ oz cake vodka
- 3 dashes Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters
- 4 drops Bittermen’s Tiki bitters
- Garnish: blueberry donut or fresh blueberries, donut glaze or wild blueberry powder on the glass
- If using the powder – add powder and all ingredients except garnish to a mixing glass. Stir well to combine before adding ice – the warmer liquid will help the blueberry powder dissolve. Once it turns a vibrant magenta color, add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain to a coupe glass rimmed with blueberry powder or donut glaze and fresh blueberries.
- If using the jam – add jam and all ingredients except garnish to a shaker. Stir well before adding ice to get the dissolution of the jam started with warmer ingredients. Add ice and shake until the shaker is so cold it’s hard to hold. Strain to a coupe glass rimmed with blueberry powder or donut glaze and fresh blueberries.