|Celebrating Summer with the Kentucky Buck|
Erick Castro is the one of the mixology talents behind the success at the renown Rickhouse in San Francisco. His innovative cocktails that emphasized "vintage minimalism" have not only made the bar a drinks destination but vaulted him to the world of brand ambassador for Pernod Ricard USA. One of his creations, the Kentucky Buck makes the list of our summer favorites. The buck is as vintage as it gets and used to be a country club favorite in the first half of the 20th Century.
At it's core, Castro's formula is a whiskey buck with muddled strawberry but that is just the foundation. Typically, a Buck's frizzante is provided by ginger ale, but Castro amps up the flavor profile and substitutes ginger beer. This results in a well balanced thirst quencher with a bite. He keeps the Buck's citrus attribute by using lemon juice (some also use lime) but adds Angostura bitters and simple syrup to balance the ginger beer. We suggest using Reed's Extra Ginger Brew - All Natural Jamaican Style Ginger Beer and a Bourbon that can stand up to the spice, Castro uses the 90 proof Bulleit Bourbon.
I would also like to add that we are not the only ones on the Kentucky Buck train, premier cocktail lounges across the country are adding this drink to their menu. In fact, we suggest you roll one immediately because Labor Day is coming and the game changes after that!
by Erick Castro
2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 medium-sized ripe strawberry
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Place juice and strawberry into tin and muddle thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients into tin along with ice and shake vigorously. Strain over ice into a Collins glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with finely-sliced strawberry and lemon wheel.