A sweet autumnal twist on the Old Fashioned.
A sweet autumnal twist on the Old Fashioned.
Photo courtesy of Knob Creek/Maggie Tadros

Refashioning an Old Fashioned With Knob Creek Maple Bourbon (for Wendy Davis)

Sometimes the best way to cool down is with a warm drink. Such was the case this past week when I got rather hot under the collar while waiting in very long pre-Thanksgiving line at the grocery store. Long story short: I was listening to two completely misinformed fools discuss the state of Texas women's reproductive rights (or, I wanted to correct them, lack thereof). It had been a long day, I was a bit hangry, and got this close to interrupting them to give them a piece of my (liberal) mind. But I checked myself before I wrecked myself: this is America, and among our many liberties is the right to be a vocal moron in public.

When I arrived home, I was still grumpy, so I fixed myself a wee bourbon drink to take the edge off. Although I have been known to imbibe whiskey and bourbon year-round, there's something about the onset of winter(ish) weather that makes me particularly in the mood for these spirits. And since, with regards to seasons at least, Texas is always a bit late to the game, I have only very recently been interested in digging into a stately bottle of Knob Creek Smoked Maple that has been sitting on our breakfront.

Neat or with one lone perfectly cuboidal piece of ice is, I think, the best way to really unpack the more subtle striations of flavor in a good bourbon. On this night, however, I decided to mix it up with the maple bourbon after my preliminary taste revealed some lovely sweet-smoky (burnt bark and honey) that I thought would go really well with some warm apple cider. Or, what the heck, apple brandy. Anyway, I tried this pleasing recipe created by bartender Michael Symon:

Knob Creek Old Fashioned Holiday Maple

  • Dash of raw sugar
  • orange peel (or
  • 3 dashes Bitters
  • 1½ ounces Knob Creek smoked maple bourbon
  • 1 ounce apple brandy

Muddle sugar, orange peel, and bitters into a rocks glass. (Or a mug, if that's how you roll.) Add maple bourbon and apple brandy and stir with ice.

After two servings, I went online to pledge my support for Wendy Davis. I think I also wrote her an email offering to do her laundry while she was on the campaign trail.

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