WARREN BOBROW (this article was first published on August 9, 2012)
I cannot think of a more refreshing afternoon drink than Cock ‘n Bull Ginger Beer and Baker’s Bourbon poured into a tall, ice-filled glass. But why would I choose such a venerable brand of bourbon if I wanted a mixed drink?
Baker’s comes from the fine folks who make Booker’s, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and the Jim Beam Bourbons. I feel that if any bourbon deserves my written hand, then it must be Baker’s Bourbon. And, Baker’s Bourbon certainly does deserve to be enjoyed in a glass alone. I love the heat and the vanilla notes that give way to cornbread on the tongue and candy apples in the finish. This is not your “augmented by ethyl” alcohol, vodka-esque spirit. It is the real thing folks, made by craftsmen who care about each sip that comes out of the bottle.
But, one must remember that 107 proof is not 80 proof. Baker’s has a magical way of slipping it’s fingers around your brain and twisting it. So, pouring a healthy slurp of Cock n’ Bull Ginger Beer into my Baker’s really can’t hurt.
Cock ‘n Bull is a historic brand of ginger beer from the Los Angeles restaurant of the same name, which dates back to the 1940s. This soda is not a sickly sweet ginger beer. It cuts the heat of the Baker’s Bourbon and gives each sip a lift. There is spice in the bottle, which I suspect comes from hot chili or pepper. You can taste the sweet- yet-subtle burn as it goes down your throat. Baker’s, its fire flickering at 107 proof, does the same thing.
Cork finishing says something to me about the care it takes to bottle this spirit. The Cock n’ Bull Ginger Beer is in a handsome bottle with bold graphics and a black label. The pictures of the Rooster and the Bull stand out against a black background with blood red lettering. I’m quite fond of this soda.
And with bourbon, it’s something else entirely!
The Morristown Mule
The original Mule Cocktail was made in a hand hammered, copper cup. I’ve twisted it up a bit to fit my rules, which means there aren’t any rules.
- 2 oz. Baker’s 107 Proof Bourbon
- Rock Ice (Hand Cut)
- Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters
- A splash of Cock n’ Bull Ginger Beer
Pour bourbon over cracked, hand-cut ice.
Add a splash of ginger beer.
Add 4 drops of the Bitter End Mexican Mole’ Bitters over the top to finish.
Garnish with a mint sprig.