The Kentucky Cooler June 14 2013

Kentucky cooler

In honor of National Bourbon Day, I thought I'd create a drink to honor the home of Bourbon. I've been fortunate to travel to Kentucky several times and it has definitely earned a special place in my heart. It's not just because it looks like a piece of fried chicken, it's that the Bluegrass state is home to 3 of my favorite things: Bourbon, sweet tea and good barbecue (especially the pork shoulder in T'ville).

To continue our exploration of infused syrups, we'll be making a sweet tea syrup for our Kentucky Cooler. This couldn't be easier as you just make your standard simple syrup and once the sugar is dissolved, throw in a tea bag. I'm using Lipton tea for this recipe, but this technique will work with any kind of tea. Let it steep until it reaches the desired level of tea flavor.

To put it all together, we'll add Maker's Mark Bourbon to the large compartment of the ReJigger, then add our sweet tea syrup to the next largest compartment and some fresh lemon juice to the smallest compartment. Just like the sweet tea in Kentucky, we'll make this cocktail on the sweet side by putting the syrup in the second largest compartment. Give it a good shake and strain it into a glass. Top it off with some soda or sparkling water, and toast to the state that gives us so much delicious bourbon.