The Fleur de Lis Manhattan, a chocolate raspberry party in your mouth, is just one of the cocktails featured in “Which Fork Do I Use with my Bourbon?” a new book by Peggy Noe Stevens and Susan Reigler on entertaining with bourbon. I have had the pleasure to be a guest for bourbon gatherings in both of their houses and they are indeed the mavens of bourbon events. When they asked if they could include a few of my batched cocktail recipes in their book, I was honored and humbled, as I still only consider myself a beginner in bourbon entertaining.
I’m pausing work on the quarantine series to update my blog with the recipes from Peggy and Susan’s book, but if you want to review other quarantine cocktails, this Root Beer Julep has links to all the previous quarantine cocktails (and a batch recipe at the end).
If you haven’t gotten a copy of this book, go right now and get one. Better yet, once gatherings are safe again, come to a Bourbon Women event and have them sign your copy. It is packed full of information, recipes and cocktails for bourbon entertaining to make the rest of us as successful as they are at hosting bourbon events.
One of the best ways to greet a guest is with a cocktail in your hand for them (right after that hug). Entertaining for bourbon drinkers can be a challenge. You’ll have some guests who’ll prefer their whiskey neat or on the rocks, and some more adventurous guests will likely want to branch off into spirit-forward cocktails. And Manhattans as a class of whiskey drinks are devilishly easy to batch.
When I’m entertaining, I like to batch three cocktails for guests, and I usually batch them in empty bourbon bottles. If you don’t have bourbon bottles, a classy pitcher or even mason jars will work if that fits the theme of your party. I batch three because I like to have one made to serve on the rocks that’s a little lighter, ABV-wise, one that’s spirit-forward, like this cocktail, and one that’s fun and off the wall for those non-bourbon drinkers celebrating with us.
Bourbon, chocolate and raspberry combine in this classy and spirit-forward cocktail to show your guests that pairing with bourbon occurs with other spirits as well as food. Adding Ballotin’s Bourbon Ball Whiskey gives both chocolate and pecan notes to the cocktail. Putting a bourbon ball (or an ArtEatables bourbon truffle) on a skewer for the cocktail is just icing on the cake. This sweet cocktail makes bourbon approachable to new enthusiasts, but still has that smooth taste of bourbon love underneath the sweetness.
The name here, Fleur de Lis, references the symbol of the city of Louisville and one you’ll find throughout the city on signs, company names and murals. It’s a cocktail that can dress up and have a good time, but is easy to put together and effortlessly sippable.
Now, with a batch cocktail, you always want to test out with a lower amount of bitters than you’d normally put in just doing the math. Bitters can be aggressive in batches, but you still want to get a hint of the flavors and aroma of the bitters on the nose and finish of a cocktail. So, aim low and add bitters as needed to create the perfect balance. This will also depend on what bourbon you choose to build the cocktail. It’s a hard job, being the host and creating batches of cocktails. You’ll have to take one for the team and test it for everyone. It’s for the best.
Single Fleur de Lis Manhattan
- 1 ½ oz 100 proof bourbon
- ¾ oz Ballotin Bourbon Ball whiskey
- ¾ oz Chambord black raspberry liqueur
- 2 drops Scrappy’s cardamom bitters
- 2 dashes Bitter Truth chocolate bitters
- Garnish: grated chocolate, raspberries or bourbon ball
- Combine your cocktail ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled and well-combined and strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with fresh raspberries, chocolates, or a bourbon truffle.
Batched Fleur de Lis Manhattan
- 1 ½ c 100 proof bourbon
- ¾ c Ballotin Bourbon Ball Whiskey
- ¾ c Chambord liqueur
- 16 drops Scrappy's cardamom bitters
- 16 dashes Bitter Truth chocolate bitters
- ½ to ¾ c water
- Garnish: grated chocolate, fresh raspberries, or bourbon truffle
- Combine cocktail ingredients in a large pitcher and combine well. Make sure to taste test the cocktail for bitters before you put it up to chill. Depending on the type of cardamom and chocolate bitters, you might need the lower amount, 12 drops, or could need more than 16!
- Chill for several hours in the fridge. Before serving, chill for at least 30 minutes in the freezer and make sure it’s well-chilled before pouring (do not leave in the freezer overnight, it may freeze up!).
- If you’re having guests pour their own cocktails, place the bottle in an ice bucket to keep cold while the party continues. Serve in a coupe or martini glass and garnish with a bourbon ball, fresh raspberry or just grated chocolate sprinkled on top if you want to keep things easy.