Keep on hoping…

If you know, you know!

If you don’t then let me explain, briefly. My witty attempt to beguile you may have been lost in translation unless you’re up on semi-recent popular music. The 2015 DNCE song “cake by the ocean”, specifically, is the tune I was referencing.

I have to admit it’s quite a catchy song with the chorus repeating the phrase “keep on hopin’…cake by the ocean.” In fact, it was so catchy that my wife, teen and preteen daughters echoed the tune relentlessly for months. Full disclosure: I too found myself involuntarily singing the addictive chorus, under my breath of course. It wasn’t until my oldest daughter informed us, blush cheeked and giggling, that “cake by the ocean” was a reference to having “relations” on the beach or at least a reference to the cocktail of similar reference (sex on the beach).

A wrinkle, to say the least.

The frequency of the song being blasted throughout the halls of House Bourboneer dwindled after that. Though still making it’s presence felt on occasion, followed by a good chuckle. Mostly when my youngest bellowed the chorus without reservation, not comprehending the true meaning…thankfully.

So, with all that said, this somewhat metaphorical post is not really about a song. It’s about bourbon! More specifically pairing bourbon with food, in this case Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon with a chocolate cupcake. If you don’t see the intended reference of the above picture (cake by the ocean) by now, then I really can’t help you.

For my preference, I wanted to nuance both the complementing and contrasting flavors provided in the bourbon and the chocolate cupcake. Jefferson’s Ocean pairs very well on many levels with the many decadent layers of chocolate in the cake.

The complementing profiles were the sweetness in both. Chocolate for obvious reasons. However, most bourbon boasts ample amounts of vanilla and caramel, not just in the nose but on the palate as well. Oceans initial sip did not disappoint in that regard. Adding slight notes of some citrus and dark fruit. There was a hint of spice which balanced out the predominant sweetness which was not cloying in any fashion.

What was most interesting about the pairing was the contrasting, not complementing, distinction of Oceans finish after a bite of chocolate. There was a spice tone for sure, which made sense considering the bourbon has at least a 20% make up of rye in the mash bill. Most notably, however, was the slight brine profile at the finish. That’s right…brine! So I definitely tasted the benefit of the salty/sweet contrast of the bourbon and the chocolate. I am truly a fan of the salty sweet combo in my food preference so it’s not a surprise I loved this pairing.

For those of you who are not familiar with Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon, after the bourbon is aged in the barrel for 4 or more years it is placed on a ship and aged at sea for several more months. The idea being, to have the barrel absorb the damp, salty sea air while simultaneously having the bourbon inside constantly moving with the roll of the ship to consistently contact more of the charred staves inside the barrel. Therefore offering the unique flavor profile distinct to Oceans.

So next time you pop open a bottle of your favorite bourbon be sure to raid your fridge or pantry. Look for some different flavor profiles that may go well together with the bourbon. Find what goes well and forget what doesn’t. Try Jefferson’s Ocean and a chocolate cupcake for starters and let me know what you think. Cheers!

-The Bourboneer

References: “Cake by the ocean”, DNCE, Republic Records, 2015.

Just Because

Another gorgeous Monday in Flagler Beach. What to do? What to do?…Hmmm. Let’s see…it’s just about 2 pm and, as far as I am concerned, the only responsible thing to do today is to take full advantage of the weather, the view and the time. The weather: upper 80’s and sunny, low humidity and a cooling, gentle breeze. The view: my beautiful wife and daughter on a roof top eatery overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the time…well, when it comes to time, I have a lot more of it these days. The Bourboneer finally retired from the daily grind and planted himself and his family in a beach town in Flagler County, Florida. The visitors and tourists are, for the most part, gone and the local kids are already back in school. I don’t think I’d survive as a kid in Florida with a return to school date of August 10th! What ever happen to going back after Labor Day? I digress. Anyway, I can’t think of a better way to spend an early Monday afternoon. Just because.

At the moment, I don’t quite have my toes in the water or my ass in the sand, I surely don’t have a worry in the world and I definitely have a cold drink in my hand, so life is good today! Anyone want to take a guess what I am drinking? Not going to make it difficult for you. It’s bourbon. Surprised? I know in such a setting the masses would be imbibing vast quantities of chilled fruity or slushy type offerings or even ice cold beer. I understand that decision process and really can’t blame you for the selection. Sounds appropriately refreshing. However, to me, there is nothing more refreshing than two, maybe three fingers, of that delicious brown water, a hint of ginger ale or ginger beer and a perfectly ripe lime wedge served over a few ice cubes. Ahhhh! Hits the spot!

Now if this interests you then you can easily adapt the flavor profile to your liking by experimenting with the bourbon. If you desire a sweeter version, try a wheated bourbon like Makers Mark or Weller. If it’s a spicier selection you crave then go with a high rye bourbon like Bulleit. Any way you choose is the right way and I think you will taste just how refreshing a bourbon can be in such a setting.

Please look past the semi-opaque plastic solo cup in the attached pictures, I promise you can still see (imagine) the deliciousness inside. I had no choice in the serving vessel. Everything was plastic! Oh, and the lime was not very ripe at all. Could’ve sworn it was a lemon. Anyway, you get the idea.


– The Bourboneer

What All Red-Blooded American Men Truly Desire!

Enough said! Get yours now!

– The Bourboneer

Ghost Bar, 2021 Style!

In the past I have posted several Ghost Bar offerings. Haven’t really done so in a few years, but I have returned 2021. This year’s the theme is “Let’s get smashed! 🎃

So, here are a few great bourbon drinks for the upcoming Halloween/Autumn season. Enjoy!

My first selection comes from the great people at It’s called “Grave Digger.” Here’s the recipe:

Grab your favorite hard cider, bourbon, ginger ale or ginger beer and a 12-16oz glass filled with ice. Now, listen closely, this is the tricky part. You must follow this step perfectly…Dump it all in the glass! That’s it! The portions are up to you.

The next selection is more of an Autumn offering. It’s called the “Apple Bottom” and it’s brought to us by

Here is the recipe:

– 2oz bourbon

– .75oz maple syrup

– .75oz lemon juice

– Gala apples

Cut up an apple slice and muddle it in the bottom of the glass. Then simply add the bourbon, syrup and lemon juice. Boom! Done!

Make one or both of these cocktails this ghostly season. And to make the experience even spookier sip your cocktail in a “Let’s get smashed!” T-shirt. Click on the link below.

Happy Halloween!

– The Bourboneer


May 4th: Bourbon Independence Day!

Everyone knows that May 4th is synonymous with “Star Wars Day.” This is the day the entire planet celebrates ‘Star Wars’ with gleeful greetings of “May the 4th be with you!” So let me be, if not the first then surely not the last, to provide my respectful offering to you all, “May the 4th be with you!”

As renown as this day has become for ‘Star Wars’ fans worldwide, it also happens to be just as celebrated for those who love bourbon. That’s right, that delicious brown water made right here in the U. S. of A. You see, on May 4th 1964, Congress passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 19, which designated bourbon whiskey as a distinctive product of the United States.

Ok, that’s awesome but what does that mean? It means bourbon, from that date forward, has been legally protected by law and can’t be produced in any other country! Other foreign distillers may copy bourbon recipes but they can never call it “bourbon.” Bourbon is strictly an American product…much like our beloved Star Wars!

‘Merica baby!

So my advice to you, on such a momentous day, would be to pour yourself a bourbon, whether neat, on the rocks, with water or ginger ale and turn on your favorite episode of Star Wars. Sip and enjoy!

As for me, the Bourboneer, I will be drinking a dram of Wilderness Trail Bourbon (KSBW) and watching Episode V, “The Empire Strikes Back!”

“May the 4th be with you!”

– The Bourboneer