Red Carpet Ready: The Golden Bourbon Fizz
David and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson of 12 Bottle Bar share their movie party ideas and mix up a delicious cocktail perfect for awards night. Plus, they give their new smoking gun a spin.
Before we were cocktail nerds, we were film nerds. David and I both graduated from film school, and we met while we were working in the film business. And, while we have since left that world behind for other pastures, we are still film nerds. Like most people, we hold dear certain movies that changed our lives. Even now, we still get excited introducing our son to movies we saw growing up, reliving the wonder of discovering new worlds.
Not surprisingly, we can also name the exact moment – and the exact drink (a Penicillin) – that sent us down the path to 12 Bottle Bar and our passion for cocktails. At this point, you may be thinking that movies and cocktails have nothing to do with each other. To us, however, they share one essential trait. Both are about telling stories.
We like to think of a cocktail as a self-contained story. The central character is always the booze with the other ingredients as supporting characters. Like movies, too, a cocktail is only as good as the ingredients and the way they work together. And, in the case of a movie-themed drink – with popcorn.
About the Golden Bourbon Fizz
Our Golden Bourbon Fizz is something of a remake if you will. It is essentially a French 75, a glorious combination of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and sparkling wine. We chose the French 75 as our influence because sparkling wine, believe it or not, makes for one of the best pairings with popcorn. In our fizz, the gin is replaced with bourbon because bourbon is made from, well, corn. Makes sense, right?
Since a basic bourbon French 75 wasn’t interesting enough, we added some cherry wood smoke with our Polyscience Smoking Gun. Admittedly, we were a bit apprehensive at first about using this tool, but it was easy right out of the box. Of course, once we started, we couldn’t stop. If a bit of smoke in the bourbon was a good idea, we thought, why not smoke the inside of the glass too?
The effect is subtle with that hint of cherry wafting out of the flute as you sip it, followed by a gentle smoky sweetness from the bourbon. However, the smoke also performs a bit of cocktail magic, softening and binding the flavors much as a “fat wash” (look it up) does. If you aren’t much for smoky scents or flavors, no need to go down that road, but believe us when we say that using the Polyscience Smoking Gun makes you feel like some sort of cocktail (and culinary) magician.
As we designed this drink – served in Viv Champagne Glasses – to sip while watching the awards night, we next turned our heads to the popcorn. Who doesn’t love popcorn, especially if it’s an excuse to break out a Cuisinart Red Popcorn Maker? To complement the drink, we smoked the popcorn as well – hickory chips this time—and tossed it with a mixture of bacon fat and butter, serving it in the Large and Small Popcorn Bowls. Our kiddo gave it two thumbs up and that says a lot coming from our little food critic.
Just as seeing a film in a dark theater surrounded by like-minded souls captures the essence of the movie experience, a cocktail takes on extra meaning when shared with friends or in the communal space of a bar. So, as awards night arrives, get some friends together, mix up some Golden Bourbon Fizzes and cheer on the nominees. With a great drink in hand, everyone is a winner.
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