A sold-out crowd of bourbon-loving Houstonians gathered on Monday night at Station 3 in the First Ward for CultureMap's Holiday Spirit Social.
After snacking on light bites prepared by popular steakhouse B&B Butchers — the menu included mini versions of the restaurant's signature bites like beef Wellington, the Carpetbagger fried oyster, and chef Tommy's bacon — matched with cocktails made with event sponsor Woodford Reserve bourbon, attendees headed upstairs for the guided tasting.
CultureMap food Eric Sandler and B&B beverage director Jeremiah Butler discussed the finer points of how to entertain and cook with bourbon this holiday season. During the Q&A, Butler provided a recipe for a cranberry-infused Old Fashioned that had people reaching for pens. Don't worry. It's included below.
Then Woodford Reserve brand ambassador Charlie Moore took the stage to guide a tasting. He explained how certain foods such as hazelnut and dark chocolate can enhance the flavors of each of the brand's three products. B&B also provided three more dishes made with the signature spirits to demonstrate the various ways bourbon can be used in cooking.
While sipping bourbon is fun and all, the night was made even better knowing that all proceeds from the evening benefited Mankind, a Dallas-based nonprofit that promises to help save lives and end suffering from prostate cancer by encouraging men to receive annual tests and help research scientists find a cure for prostate cancer. That is something we can all raise our glasses to.
Jeremiah Butler's Cranberry Old Fashioned
2 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1 Sugar cube
2 dashes Reagan No. 6 Orange bitters
2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
Place the sugar cube in a highball (rocks) glass and add the bitters. Muddle the sugar cube. Add the two ounces of bourbon and ice (one big cube is ideal for presentation and dilution but regular ice will work, too). Stir for approximately 15 to 20 seconds. Garnish with an orange peel and some fresh cranberries.
To make the cranberry-infused bourbon, empty approximately 25-percent of a bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon and add between 15 and 20 fresh cranberries. Let sit for two weeks. Prior to serving, strain out the cranberries.