I really do. They are definitely the summer types, they are fun, low maintenance, refreshing and quite delicious! Oh, I apologize if I was misleading. Let me be more specific. I am not talking about the members of the Christian religious denomination, I am speaking of the bourbon cocktail, of course. This is the Bourboneer, what else would I be talking about?
A Presbyterian is a high-ball of sorts but really nothing more than a bourbon mixed with ginger ale. However, there are several different recipes and some are much more varied and complex than others. Martha Stewart and Culinary Colleen have the most creative Presbyterians recipes that I’ve seen (see recipes below). Ingredients such as lime wedges, club soda, ginger syrup and Angostura bitters have now found their way into dressing up one of the most basic of bourbon cocktails.
For me, If I am not enjoying my usual bourbon on the rocks or an old fashioned, then its safe to assume I am drinking a Presbyterian. My own concoction calls for Angostura bitters, lime, a muddled cherry and a dash of club soda. Although, when I feel lazy, which is quite often, then a straight bourbon and ginger ale fits the bill nicely. Or a “bourbon and ginger” as I like to call them.
Other than the unique name, a Presbyterian really doesn’t sound that exciting. Again, I am referring to the drink and not the person. Even with the assortment of different ingredients,the Presbyterian remains a basic cocktail. Now for a purest like me, that’s just fine. I am of the belief that bourbon should be savored all by itself. So despite what may be added to “spice” up the drink we all know that bourbon is the key ingredient and star of the show.
It wasn’t until July of 2014 that I realized the “right” bourbon makes the perfect cocktail. That sounds pretty basic, I know, and like something I should’ve known by then, but unfortunately I didn’t. You live and you learn right? Anyway, up to that time, I had sampled countless bourbon offerings in Presbyterians and very few made a noticeable difference. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. But one afternoon while sharing a drink with my brother at the Swig and Swine in Charleston, SC, I ordered a Presbyterian made with Knob Creek KSBW Small Batch (9 years aged). Wow, that made all the difference. I am not sure if it was the Creek’s toasted fruit accents that married so well with the ginger ale or the delightful notes of cinnamon, but I noticed the distinction from the first sip. I was hooked.
We know that Knob Creek is Jim Beam’s small batch offering and there are many who believe that large distilleries are unable to produce a quality small batch bourbon. I disagree. You only need to taste Knob Creek to love Knob Creek. And if you are a purest like me, then first try it poured over ice and you will see just how fantastic Knob Creek is and how absolutely delicious it will make any of your cocktails, especially the Presbyterian.
Take my word for it and love a Presbyterian today!
Martha Stewart Presbyterian Recipe: (2 oz. of bourbon, 2 oz. of club soda, 2 oz. of ginger ale and 2 oz. of Angostura bitters)
Culinary Colleen Presbyterian Recipe: (2 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. ginger syrup, juice of half a lime, splash of club soda and candied ginger (optional))
Bourbon enjoyed while writing this article: Knob Creek KSBW Small Batch (9 years).