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While the fat flakes of snow falling on the East Coast might have the more pragmatic person thinking about buying chickens to roast or stews to simmer tonight, we have started thinking about the cocktail to fix when we trudge in the door later this evening. We’re thanking our lucky stars for both the jug of ginger ale in the fridge and the half-liter of bourbon on the bar.
The popularity of the bourbon and ginger seems to be growing these days. Maybe it’s that the season of colds and flus necessitates the constant presence of ginger ale in the fridge, or maybe it’s that bourbon’s popularity is on the rise, but we’re seeing it everywhere.
It’s a damn fine cocktail to order out, but it’s even better at home. The bourbon and ginger is the rare three-ingredient concoction that’s both a breeze to make and impressive to those who try it—it’s ideal for unexpected guests, and it looks good no matter the weather. Ginger gives it a light kick, bourbon lends a caramelly sweetness, and lime juice amps up the flavor profiles of both.
This recipe is a good starting point. Any type of ginger ale works, but we’re partial to Schweppes or Original from Bruce Cost, if you want to get all fancy and artisanal. For bourbon, you’ll want something not-too-expensive with a bit of a caramel note; we go for Bulleit. And don’t skip the lime! You’ll want a wedge to squeeze into the drink, then a wheel to garnish the glass.
Then find a couch, stretch out, grab a magazine, and drink. You can worry about the stew later.