The Jeremy (Bourbon and Tequila in harmony)

Bourbon and Tequila

Recently I had a discussion with a friend about what his ideal cocktail would be, his favorite spirits were bourbon and tequila, and I assured him that I could make a cocktail from those ingredients.  Low and behold the next day when I decided to come up with something to suggest to him I discovered, these really are not easy to work with each other, some even say that tequila and whiskey are unworkable.  Challenge accepted!

To start, my logic for this is that I would need a mixing ingredient that would work well with both of the spirits and not favor one over the other.  For this I choose grapefruit as I love the way it pairs with bourbon, and it is just a natural companion to tequila.  From there I figured that we would have sweet and sour covered, but it would be good to add a bit of bitterness. See below for the first attempt(I made these small test cocktails, measuring with metric jiggers to get an idea of proportions):

Trial 1: 20ml fresh grapefruit juice, 30 ml tequila, 30 ml rye, 15ml bourbon, 3 dashes Fee Brothers whiskey barrel bitters

This was missing something, it needed more flavor from the bitters and a stronger bitterness overall.  Also the rye threw off the balance between the spirits so from this point on only bourbon an tequila were used.  Thinking that herbal would be a good mix my first thoughts were Green Chartreuse or Fernet Branca, here is how those went

Trial 2:  20 ml grapefruit, 30 ml tequila, 30 ml bourbon, 3 dash whiskey barrel bitters, 15 ml green chartreuse

Trial 3: 20 ml grapefruit, 30 ml tequila, 30 ml bourbon, 3 dash whiskey barrel bitters, 15 ml Fernet

The result of each was TOO MUCH.  The respective bitter just took over the cocktail and hid the other flavors, even with a mild bourbon (Old Grandad was used for all), every other ingredient got hidden by the bitter.  I decided to tone it down for the next couple attempts:

Trial 4:  20 ml grapefruit, 30 ml tequila, 30 ml bourbon, 3 dash whiskey barrel bitters, splash green chartreuse

Trial 5: 20 ml grapefruit, 30 ml tequila, 30 ml bourbon, 3 dash whiskey barrel bitters, splash Fernet

Even toning it down to a “splash” (probably in the 3-5 ml range) these still did not work, the flavors were just too much, particularly with the delicate grapefruit juice.  From here I decided to take a break, further trials in one night were not going to yield ideal results.

On day 2 I decided to try a new angle with the bitters and give up on the herbal, and try a more complimenting flavor, in this case Aperol.

Trial 6: 20ml grapefruit, 30 ml tequila, 30 ml bourbon, 3 dash whiskey barrel bitters, 15ml Aperol

Finally, this is good.  All of the flavors are present and in good proportions.  No herbal component as I had originally looked for but this overall is a great cocktail.  Only one more thing to try:

Trial 7 :  Trial 6 + 1 dash of Peychaud’s bitters

Nope, the herbal isn’t going to happen here.  Even just a single dash of the Peychauds bitters completely eliminates the tequila from this drink.  So trial 6 it is, and proof that yes, tequila and whiskey ARE workable, it just isn’t an easy process to make them work.  Overall though this is a very good cocktail, simple and refreshing but every ingredient it noticeable and adds to the drink, very balanced.

Bourbon and Tequila
The Jeremy, also the reason we need to go buy more Aperol

1 1/2 oz Bourbon
1 1/2 oz Tequila
3/4 oz Aperol
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
2-3 Dash Whiskey Barrel Bitters

Shake all ingredients over ice an serve up in a coupe glass.  No need for a garnish here, you just made a cocktail that highlights both Bourbon and Tequila, that is garnish enough!

Thoughts?