Local restaurants and mixologists share details and recipes for their most prized creations.
Bourbon making can be traced back to the late 18th century, standing as a uniquely American spirit known for quality and craftsmanship. Because of specific and high standards, bourbon tastes different than other whiskeys such as Scotch, Irish, Canadian or Tennessee whiskey. There are many rules when it comes to bourbon, but just remember that all bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbons. Smoother and more approachable than other whiskeys, bourbon has inherent flavors of vanilla, oak, fruit, spice and honey. This depth of flavor is subtle and complex but not overpowering, making bourbon easy to enjoy. The easily approachable taste can be enjoyed by connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. Bourbon tastes magnificent straight up or on ice, but the depth of flavor makes for brilliant craft cocktails and classics, like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. Here are some cocktail recipes from local restaurants that use bourbon as their main ingredient.
ELA’s On the Water
Citrus Mint Julep
2 ounces Anita’s Choice bourbon
3 slices of fresh orange
3 dashes of orange bitters
Splash of soda
Mint leaf garnish
Directions  Add bourbon, orange slices, orange bitters and simple syrup to a shaker, shake well and strain into a glass with a sugar rim.  Top with a splash of soda and garnish with mint or an orange slice.
“The Citrus Mint Julep is a new addition to our drink menu, but our take on a classic has quickly become a customer favorite.” — ELA’s On the Water
Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana
Michael Anthony’s Manhattan
1 1/2 ounces Old Forester 100
3/4 ounce Carpano sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Peychaud bitters
Fabbri Amarena cherry, for garnish
Directions  Combine the ingredients into a Yarai mixing glass filled halfway with ice.  Stir thoroughly. Strain into a rocks glass over an ice ball.  Garnish with an Amarena cherry.
“Our guests love Elijah’s classic MA’s Manhattan because it is properly made with the best quality ingredients for a satisfyingly balanced Manhattan.” — Rebecca Fazzini, Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana
The Bluffton Room
May River Manhattan
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce The Bluffton Room signature smoked cherry syrup
Grand Marnier and brandy-soaked Luxardo cherries for garnish
Orange peel for garnish
Slice of bacon for garnish
Directions  Build in a mixing tin: layer bourbon, vermouths and cherry syrup. Gently tumble.  Transfer into a short cocktail glass and fill with ice.  Garnish with fresh orange peel, skewered cherries and a delicious slice of bacon.
“The May River Manhattan once won the B.O.B. award for Best Manhattan, and I think all of our guests still agree.” — Tonja Hughes, The Bluffton Room
Links, an American Grill
Links Old Fashioned
2 ounces Woodford Reserve
Small splash maple syrup
1/4 ounce simple syrup
3 dashes Bittermilk bitters
1 cinnamon stick
1 Bordeaux cherry
Directions  Stir all ingredients in a glass.  Place a large ice cube in the glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick, Bordeaux cherry and nutmeg zest.
“Links’ signature Old Fashioned is a savory update on the classic cocktail that has both traditionalists and nouveau-seekers alike singing praises. Combining our own unique twist on bitters and syrup with The Sea Pines Resort’s own proprietary Barrel of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, this is a libation not to be missed.” — Links, an American Grill
2 ounces Four Rose Single Barrel Bourbon
3/4 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/4 ounce China China
1/4 ounce Averna,
1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Directions  In a 10-ounce rocks glass, stir all ingredients with a large rock.  Garnish with a Luxardo cherry.
“As former owner of The Lucky Rooster on Hilton Head Island, Chef Clayton Rollison was excited to introduce this cocktail to his new home at Callawassie Island. The Bourbon Society at Callaswassie Island was the first to enjoy this famous cocktail and now Callawassie
Island fan favorite!” — Callawassie Island
Long Cove Club
Blackberry Bourbon Bramble
Several mint or basil leaves
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce Chambord
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
Directions  Muddle together 1 blackberry and 3 mint or basil leaves.  Add bourbon, Chambord, simple syrup and lemon juice.  Shake together and double strain over ice.  Garnish with blackberry and basil or mint leaves.
“A large portion of our members are big bourbon fans, so we wanted to create something unique with fresh, tasty ingredients and a top-shelf bourbon.”— Long Cove Club
Colleton River Club
1/4 slice of orange
3 Luxardo cherries
1 teaspoon Luxardo juice
Splash of simple syrup
A couple of drops of bitters
3 fingers of Woodford bourbon
Directions  Muddle all ingredients.  Add club soda and ice.
“Our signature cocktail is inspired by one of our members, Earl, and is a favorite of the Colleton River members. Interesting facts about Earl: He has been with Colleton River Club for 12 years. Earl was born and raised on the Island, and his grandfather is 97 years old. Earl’s grandfather is the last Gullah man on Hilton Head Island.” — Colleton River Club
One Hot Mama’s
Kentucky Peach Tea
1 1/2 ounces Evan Williams peach bourbon
Directions  Fill a glass with ice and add bourbon.  Fill the rest with sweet tea.  Garnish with a lemon wedge.
“Mouthwatering barbecue: Done. Casual, fun atmosphere: Got that. Refreshing, casual cocktail: Kentucky Peach Tea. One Hot Mamas Kentucky Peach Tea perfectly reflects the restaurant’s style; Southern, laid-back and delicious.” — One Hot Mama’s
Old Town Dispensary
Old Town Old Fashioned
2 ounces Woodford Kentucky Bourbon
1 orange slice
1 Bordeaux cherry
1 ounce Bourbon maple syrup
Directions  Muddle the cherry and orange in a glass. Add the bitters, syrup and bourbon. Top with ice.  Garnish with an orange wedge and a cherry.
“This cocktail is named after our restaurant. The Old Fashion is a good classic drink, and we put our twist on it with the bourbon maple syrup.” — Old Town Dispensary