National Bourbon Day is almost here — June 14 — and it’s hard to decide what drink will help you celebrate the day best. Luckily Jacob Bender, beverage director of the Spotted Owl, gave us his solution to cocktail indecisiveness: the Surprise Me Series. The series of 20 drinks offered at the Spotted Owl are for when people know they like drinks like Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, but want to sauce it new school. From that oh-so-boozy series, Bender recommends the No. 5 as a worthy National Bourbon Day tipple, because its ingredients can be easily found at the average liquor store. “It's a very good example of something that does blur the line between the Manhattan build and the Old Fashioned build,” says Bender. “It has the sweetness of an Old Fashioned and then the length and I suppose the volume of the Manhattan.” In other words, the best of all bourbon worlds. Here’s how to make it.
Surprise Me Series No. 5:
0.25 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
0.25 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 oz Old Granddad Bonded Whiskey
2 eyedroppers Bittermen's Xocalotl Mole Bitters
Combine ingredients in mixing glass, add ice, and stir for 12 to 15 seconds. Strain into a large rocks glass filled with ice (large format ice preferable). Garnish with lemon oils expressed over the surface of the drink.