Home » Cocktail Recipes » Step into Spring with this Coopers’ Craft Blueberry Bourbon Sour

Step into Spring with this Coopers’ Craft Blueberry Bourbon Sour

No ratings yet

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Coopers' Craft Cocktail - Blueberry Sour with sage leaf garnish and a bottle of Coopers' Craft on a gold tray
Coopers’ Craft Cocktail: Sweet and Savory Blueberry Sour

While I adore amber-colored whiskey cocktails, there’s something about spring that makes me want to celebrate bright colors, flowers blooming and warmer weather ahead of us – and this Coopers’ Craft Cocktail is a beauty. For this post, sponsored by Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve, I decided to mix bright colors with intriguing spices for a great twist on a classic Boston sour. A deep indigo wild-blueberry syrup infused with spices brightens up the drink and combines beautifully with the whiskey’s banana, spice, and fruit notes.

(Remember to always drink responsibly – this content is for adults of legal drinking age only. Post may contain affiliate links.)

About Coopers’ Craft

Coopers' Craft Cocktail - Blueberry Sour with sage leaf garnish and a bottle of Coopers' Craft on a gold tray
Coopers’ Craft Cocktail: Sweet and Savory Blueberry Sour

As part of the Brown-Forman portfolio, the Coopers’ Craft expressions are designed to celebrate all things barrel. Some whiskey experts suggest that up to 80% of the flavor (and all of the color) of bourbon comes from the barrel.

That magic that happens as the barrel ages and whiskey moves into and out of the barrel staves as each season passes. The time spent in the barrel is both additive and subtractive in terms of its impact on the nose and flavor of the bourbon.

Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve, the second expression from the Coopers’ Craft line, was released in 2019 at a higher proof point (100 proof), and with a different barrel and filtering process designed to create a more robust flavor.

Brown-Forman touts that it’s the only whiskey distillery that also makes its own barrels – giving it complete control over the barrel and the flavors it adds to whiskey.

And the barrel process for this expression is very different from a typical barrel. Generally, barrels are toasted first, then charred with a huge burst of flames for a certain number of seconds. For the Barrel Reserve expression, there’s another step before the whiskey is added.

What’s Special About the Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve?

Coopers' Craft Bourbon with Barrel Stave that has chiseled out sections
Coopers’s Craft Bourbon Barrel Stave

To produce these barrels, after the barrel is toasted and charred, the coopers use a tool to chisel out rings within the barrel, exposing more of the whiskey directly to wood. They estimate it creates 50% more surface area to interact with the bourbon. The wood and dust drilled out is left in the bottom of the barrel while it ages – sometimes that takes up 6-8” in the bottom of the barrel before it’s filled.

Brown-Forman does use heat-cycling in rickhouses to simulate extra seasons moving the bourbon into and out of the staves with the change in temperature.

And, because of the extra wood, char, and oak in the barrel, the filtration process for the Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve was designed to capture and filter out those particles after the barrel is dumped.

Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve Flavor Profile

The flavor profile for the Barrel Reserve is far more robust than Coopers’ Craft Bourbon. And at 100 proof, it’s much easier to get it to stand out in a cocktail with sweet or bitter notes.

While I expected the bourbon to be very dry and oaky, those flavors did not overwhelm me. I did get a good bit of banana and dried fruit as I usually do from Brown-Forman products, but a nice bit of baking spice and a great bit of vanilla. 

And the finish was oaky and tasted slightly of leather. I knew I wanted to do something with a sour because a high-proof spirit can still stand out and carry notes through in a more fruity, complex cocktail. So I decided to pair that oak with the sweetness and mouthfeel of a blueberry Boston sour.

What is a Boston Sour?

A Boston sour uses egg whites, aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas), or a foaming agent to create a lovely head of foam and a silken mouthfeel. I use either egg whites or aquafaba depending on what I have in my pantry. See this article for more information on How to Make a Boston or Vegan Sour.

Your Secret Sauce: Blueberry Spice Syrup – Two Ways

Coopers' Craft Cocktail - Blueberry Sour with sage leaf garnish and a bottle of Coopers' Craft on a gold tray
Coopers’ Craft Cocktail: Sweet and Savory Blueberry Sour

I know not everyone will love the savory side of things, so I’ve got two options for the simple syrup for this Coopers’ Craft cocktail. If you’re adventurous and love trying new flavors, make the blueberry sage syrup. But, if you prefer more traditional flavors, the blueberry cinnamon syrup is perfect for this.

I highly suggest the blueberry sage syrup. The sage combination with bourbon is a little unusual, but it works with the oaky, drier flavors of the whiskey, and brings an almost floral note to the cocktail. 

Blueberry Sage Syrup

For this savory syrup, I used 

  • 2 cups wild blueberries, frozen
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup torn fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Add blueberries, sugar, and water to a saucepan on medium heat. Let the sugar dissolve and the berries cook down for about 10-15 minutes. Add the sage and black pepper. Turn heat to lowest setting for 5 minutes, then turn off the burner. Let the spices steep until the syrup cools. Strain into a glass jar and keep it in the fridge.

Blueberry Cinnamon Syrup

  • 2 cups wild blueberries, frozen
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, cracked

Add blueberries, sugar, and water to a saucepan on medium heat. Let the sugar dissolve and the berries cook down for about 10-15 minutes. Add the cinnamon sticks. Turn heat to lowest setting for 5 minutes, then turn off the burner. Let steep until the syrup cools. Strain into a glass jar and keep it in the fridge.

***The most important thing of all is to retain the strained, sweetened blueberries. They are amazing on pancakes, waffles, or as a sweet compote on a tenderloin or pork roast.***

Flavors in this Sweet and Savory Blueberry Sour

Because of the sweet fruit flavors from the Coopers’ Craft Barrel reserve, I wanted to add some savory notes through the sage and peppercorn. Both are flavors that I often see in recipes of sauces with a fruit base that is used on meats and entrees. 

The pepper notes in the blueberry syrup will continue to develop over the first day or two, so don’t worry if the peppercorn tastes muted the first day, I saw an uptick in flavor when I tasted it after a day in the fridge.

How to Get Gorgeous Foam on Your Coopers’ Craft Cocktails

Coopers' Craft Cocktail - Blueberry Sour with sage leaf garnish and a bottle of Coopers' Craft on a gold tray
Coopers’ Craft Cocktail: Sweet and Savory Blueberry Sour

I have an easy hack to get that gorgeous foam, whether you are using an egg white or aquafaba. I use a small hand-held latte whisk to build that foam. Here’s how to do it: 

Put all the ingredients, including the egg white or aquafaba in a shaking tin with ice and shake for 10-12 seconds. Strain into a clean, chilled mixing glass or shaking tin and use the hand-held latte whisk on the cocktail for about 10- seconds. 

Next, just open pour into your chilled coupe glass, garnish and you’re done. 

Other Cocktails You Might Enjoy

Did you try it? I love getting unsolicited DRINK pics from you when you try out a cocktail. Send them along to me on social media. Join me on my social channels at @cocktail_contessa on Instagram and Cocktail Contessa on Facebook and use the hashtags #cocktailcontessa and #bourbonismycomfortfood.

Want more cocktail content? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter here and get a free ebook of my favorite cocktails I can’t stop making!

Recommended Bar Tools

You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces:

You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:

Coopers' Craft Cocktail - Blueberry Sour with sage leaf garnish and a bottle of Coopers' Craft on a gold tray

Sweet and Savory Coopers’ Craft Blueberry Sour

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
No ratings yet
Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve Bourbon
  • ¾ oz Blueberry Sage syrup** or Blueberry Cinnamon***, see below
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • 1 egg white or ¾ oz aquafaba
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 dashes bitters, optional I used Rosemary-Grapefruit-Peppercorn
  • Garnish: sage leaf, fresh blueberries

Instructions
 

  • Combine bourbon, blueberry syrup, lemon juice, egg white, 2 torn sage leaves, and optional bitters in a shaking tin and add ice. Shake 10-12 seconds, then strain into a chilled mixing glass or shaking tin. Use a hand-held latte whisk on the mixture for 20 seconds, then pour into your chilled serving glass. Garnish with a sage leaf. If you don’t have a latte whisk, dry shake with the egg and 1-2 cubes for 30 seconds, then add ice and shake for another 20-30 seconds. Strain into the chilled coupe glass.

Notes

**Blueberry Sage Syrup
For this savory syrup, I used 
  • 2 cups wild blueberries, frozen
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup torn fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
Add blueberries, sugar, and water to a saucepan on medium heat. Let the sugar dissolve and the berries cook down for about 10-15 minutes. Add the sage and black pepper. Turn heat to lowest setting for 5 minutes, then turn off the burner. Let the spices steep until the syrup cools. Strain into a glass jar and keep it in the fridge.
***Blueberry Cinnamon Syrup
  • 2 cups wild blueberries, frozen
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, cracked
Add blueberries, sugar, and water to a saucepan on medium heat. Let the sugar dissolve and the berries cook down for about 10-15 minutes. Add the cinnamon sticks. Turn heat to lowest setting for 5 minutes, then turn off the burner. Let steep until the syrup cools. Strain into a glass jar and keep it in the fridge.
Keyword blueberry, bourbon, cinnamon, egg white, sage, Whiskey Sour
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on April 15th, 2021
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey enthusiast (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location

More posts by this author.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating