London Cocktail Week has been and gone for another year. A massive get together of brands we all know and love within Old Spitalfields Market to celebrate alcohol and the wonderfully creative concoctions that cocktails can be
I was invited by Jim Beam to come down and experience the event for one evening, and I'm not just saying it because they invited me, but Jim Beam was definitely a highlight of the cocktail week for me! I mean, when you pair cocktails with food it is going to be a sure fire winner with me
FYI, Southern Comfort had the best ever chicken on hand to be paired with their cocktails so of course I made a beeline for their stand and to eat their chicken. But the main event was with Jim Beam who had partnered with the one and only Bodeans BBQ!
I love BBQ food. I may as well be a cowgirl from the Deep South. I am ALL ABOUT that Texas Cowgirl life. And pairing smokey bourbon with smokey BBQ food? Absolute genius guys. Genius. Hence they were calling it the Double Oaked & Double Smoked. I always think of bourbon when I think of cowgirls and country singers too. And yanno, Lana Del Rey's line from a song is "diamonds on my wrist, whiskey on my tongue", so I was living my fancy cowgirl in London life right here on this stand
The main bourbon on hand for the cocktails was Jim Beam's double oaked bourbon. This is a bourbon that is aged in charred white barrels, and then eventually moved into a second freshly charred barrel to mature for a second time. This gives it the most amazing and intense smokey flavour, but is still smooth to go down. I tried it neat, but definitely preferred it in cocktails! Whiskey always makes my face scrunch up as it goes down
It is the most perfect bourbon to be paired with meats that have also been smoked for a while to be as tender as possible
You had the choice of a pulled pork sandwich, or a pulled pork and beef brisket sandwich. I went the whole hog (pardon the pun) and had the pulled pork and beef brisket sandwich to go with my first cocktail which was the Double Oak Cherry Highball
The Double Oak Cherry Highball was a dangerous cocktail! It was far too easy to drink, and drink a lot of it is what I did. It featured Jim Beam's Double Oaked bourbon, black cherry soda, cream soda, and some Funkin cocktail lemon juice, finished off with a cherry within the glass
You had the most amazing sweet cherry flavour and fizz, with a hint of smoke right at the back and it actually worked so damn well, I can not recommend this drink enough and I have been tempted to recreate it at home with some Cherry Coke and some Jim Beam with a little squeeze of fresh lemon
I took a friend along with me to this evening and his choice was the Oak n Smoke Old Fashioned. Jim Beam Double Oak, Funkin cocktail smoke infused sugar syrup and some Single Village mescal. A smokier take on the classic whiskey Old Fashioned cocktail
Similar to this was the Double Oak Old Fashioned which featured the Double Oak bourbon, aromatic bitters and sugar syrup. Not as smokey, but just as nice!
The last cocktail on the list was one I was scared to try, but I went for it. I had gone full American and deep south tonight and no way was I stopping now. Kentucky 'Hard' Root Beer
I hate root beer with a passion. It tastes like cough medicine to me and I just detest the stuff. I think it is vile and undrinkable. Hence my fear of trying this, but YOLO, life is too short, all those kinds of lines. I went for it. Now this is a totally American drink for sure
This featured Jim Beam's White label bourbon. Their classic bourbon. None of this double oak. You then add vanilla moonshine, and finally the root beer
Vanilla moonshine FYI is only really available in the States and not as easy to get over here. It is known as a White Dog as it is the straight spirit and never hits the barrel which gives bourbon its colour and flavour. It's a ridiculously high percentage because of this, and this one featured vanilla in for flavour. Yes, I tried it straight. It tasted like marshmallows and I could easily have drunk the whole jar of that strong stuff because of it. But then I maybe also would have been hungover for months. We all know moonshine as being really strong stuff and made in peoples bathtubs haha
The root beer cocktail wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yes I first sipped it and got that disgusting taste of root beer that I detest, but the more I drank, the sweeter it got thanks to the moonshine with the vanilla flavouring. It also definitely hit me hard thanks to the moonshine and the whiskey inside of it
But hey, no hangovers for me! I lived to remember my evening and feel good the next day!
I am pleasantly surprised about the versatility of such a smokey bourbon, and I never thought you'd be able to make cocktails from such a thing. I was wrong though and enjoyed them far too much
Thank you Jim Beam for educating me and having me for the evening! You are my favourite bourbon
Did you go to #LCW? Would you drink bourbon cocktails?