Cherry Tree Anecdote Cocktail Recipe


Featuring a guest post today from Thomas Fondano from Portland, OR. Thomas writes a booze blog and would love to contribute to Bourbon & Banter on a regular basis. Try out his recipe and let us know if you’d like to see more from Thomas over the next few months.

Cherry Tree Anecdote Cocktail Recipe


I love my bourbon neat, but on a really hot day I want something a little more refreshing. Summer means a lot of great fruit is in season, and right now that includes cherries. Cherries and bourbon pair well together whether in desserts or in the bottom of a Manhattan.

As I wrote this on the 4th of July weekend, I was reminded of the founders and in particular the most famous cherry tree in American History: the one chopped down by George Washington. The story may not be true, but most of the best ones shared over a drink aren’t.

The Cherry-tree Anecdote

  • 4 dark sweet cherries, pits and stems removed
  • 1/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 oz orgeat (B.G. Reynold’s)
  • 2 oz bourbon (Bulleit or other high-rye bourbon)

Muddle the cherries in a shaker. Add the lime juice, orgeat and bourbon and shake with ice. Double strain (you don’t want any fruit bits in your drink) into rocks glass over ice. Slap a mint sprig and put it in the glass as garnish.

The bourbon provides backbone, sweetness comes from the cherries, the lime lends brightness, and the orgeat almond syrup balances the tartness of the citrus. The whole thing goes down easy and is quite refreshing. Cheers!



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Hunting The Elusive Pappy Van Winkle: The Bigfoot of Bourbon

Today’s blog post is actually a re-post of an article that debuted yesterday over on The Bourbon Truth. (Here’s a link to the original article.)

Knowing that Pappy Fever will be sweeping the country in a few months I thought everyone would really enjoy this post. If you’re not familiar with The Bourbon Truth already, I suggest you check out his blog as well as his Twitter account at @BourbonTruth. So who’s behind The Bourbon Truth? Your guess may be better than mine. He goes by many names such as Lloyd Christmas on Twitter but very little is known about him. I once asked for details but was told that many bourbon industry folks would like to see him in a coffin so he doesn’t like to reveal his identity. Perhaps I’ve exaggerated a bit about the “in a coffin” bit, but there’s got to be a reason he lives in a van down by the river.

All kidding aside, The Bourbon Truth is best described as a bourbon enthusiast who shares his knowledge and passion with others without a brake pedal for his opinion. In other words, he tells it like he sees it and doesn’t care if you agree or not. Whether you love or hate what he has to say you’ll never find it boring.  Personally I find him entertaining as shit and have enjoyed conversing back and forth while learning quite a bit.

So pour yourself a nice big glass of bourbon, put up your feet and enjoy the post. I hope to see a lot of feedback in the comments as well as sharing of this post. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. My thanks to “Lloyd” for allowing Bourbon & Banter to share his post in our quest to spread the bourbon gospel.

Hunting The Elusive Pappy Van Winkle: The Bigfoot of Bourbon

Believe it or not, there are easier ways to get a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle than hijacking a delivery truck.


Anyone can have a bottle or two of Pappy – yes, any body. If your willing to invest a few hours of time it’s not only possible but probable. Before I take you there you’ll have to indulge me on a long road to understand some things unless your like me and have already done your homework. It will make a newbie better equipped.

First, your regular go to people/stores maybe the best sources. If the owner/manager knows your a good customer than releasing a bottle may be your reward for loyalty if they can beg one.

Second, understand “the game”. It’s not clear exactly how many cases of Pappy are available each year. A number often used is 6,000 cases. I don’t know if that was the old number of 6,000 each Spring and Fall release or combined but now that there is only a Fall release I’ll go with 6,000 annually. Case packs changed from 12 to 6 or 3 in some ages/years. There will be a significant increase in 10 and 12 year this year so I’ll guess at 8,000 cases of 12 as a working number. Julian is on record saying 6,000-7,000 last year

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Bourbon On The Rise


Today’s guest post comes from Rob Sharer from Atlanta, GA. Rob’s decided to weigh in with his thoughts on what’s behind bourbon’s recent success or in other words, ‘Why is bourbon on the rise?’

Have a look and let us know in the comments what you think of Rob’s work and if we should consider him for a regular contributor spot here at Bourbon & Banter. 

Bourbon On The Rise

The growth of Bourbon over the last five years has been amazing to watch. But to what can we attribute that growth to?

Here are a few interesting thoughts I have on this subject.

Influence from Television
Two of the most popular shows on television right now have plenty of drinking and feature bourbon.

Mad Men on AMC
Wildly popular show where the characters really enjoy their booze. Don and the Men of the show will usually drink a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned if there not just drinking their booze neat throughout the day. Due to the success of the show and a renewed interest in period cocktails AMC created a dedicated website to showcase cocktails from the show.

The Walking Dead on AMC
The Governor’s drink of choice is bourbon, which we see in many of the episodes of season 3. The most memorable one is at the end of episode 303 “Walk with me” as he is sipping on some bourbon looking at fish tanks. Bourbon good, but those fish tanks were bad.

Bourbon distillers have taken bourbon and added different flavor profiles. Honey, Cherry, Maple and Cinnamon are the main ones that most consumers recognize. These flavors may be good to entice people to try a bourbon. My opinion is that it’s not a true sample. These may be great gateway bourbons and whiskeys, but I would like a subtle hint of honey. I don’t want to feel like I just licked a honeycomb. Maple sounds great on the surface, but I did not like feeling like IHOP exploded in my mouth. The other innovations that most consumers have not seen are the bourbons finished in wine barrels. Port wine and White Zinfandel finishes are more muted, but are definitely there. Great place to start for anyone who enjoys wines. Distillers are adding smoke and double oak aging and the list could go on and on. All these innovation make purchasing something new trying at times. I feel as if I have to research new bourbons like I do buying a car. I don’t want to waste my time and money. I want to know what I am buying before I get there. If not I might be there for an hour pacing the aisles. The bourbon and whiskey market is growing exponentially and most of the time the employees at liquor stores cannot keep up with each new innovation. So you may want to read up a little before adventuring out. Bourbon & Banter is a good place to start! [Editors note: Thanks for the plug Rob!]

This is probably my favorite reason that bourbon is growing so fast. What other liquor is more versatile that bourbon? Here’s the proof…

Say I am new to drinking bourbon. I buy a bottle and head home to figure out if bourbon is for me. I can pour myself a glass and sip it neat. If that is too stout for me, then I will add a splash of water. Still too strong? I can add ice. If that doesn’t work I could add a cola or ginger ale. Next pour maybe I will make a cocktail since the others may have not worked. If I decide that bourbon and I don’t mix I could always use it to make desserts. A milkshake, brownies, cookies, a cake and the list goes on. I would be so bold to say, do you have that many possibilities with other liquors? No.

At the end of the day bourbon’s success comes down to one’s mentality. Each distiller wants to make a superior bourbon. 99% of distillers would like to make their bourbon more superior than their competition. They are all trying to make that “holy grail” of bourbons. Trying new methods of aging, adding new ingredients, etc. As a consumer it is exciting to see someone who wants to take their product from great and try to make it superior.

So who is the big winner in all this? We all are. Well…if you have the time to try them all. But that is a great problem to have.




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Why You Should Be Drinking Whiskey

Not sure why it took me 2 whole days to come across this but damn, this is some funny shit. Make sure to share it with everyone you know. Continued education on the merits of whiskey might just be the only thing to save our beloved country. Enjoy!




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