We sat down with Nic Christiansen of Louisville’s Butchertown Grocery to chat about Four Roses and handcraft a smooth and refreshing cocktail, made with Four Roses Bourbon. But before we shake up the Long Lavender Line, let’s learn a bit more about Nic.
Nic has spent years studying and crafting classic and signature drinks at cocktail-focused restaurants, and she enjoys a well-deserved reputation for creativity, style and balance. Utilizing her extensive knowledge of Bourbon and spirits, she takes tremendous pride in delivering unique and personal experiences to her guests.
Nic is a former board member of the United States Bartenders Guild, a graduate of the Bourbon Aroma Academy, a Stave and Thief Executive Bourbon Steward, and has obtained her Court of Master Sommelier – Intro Sommelier Certification. She also appeared as a guest on Bravo’s Top Chef TV show, providing cocktail knowledge for the judges and contestants. She has an impressive background and we’re ready to chat Bourbon with her. Read our whole conversation and get the cocktail recipe to handcraft at home.
What’s your favorite Four Roses product to use for cocktails? And your favorite for sipping on?
Small Batch is my favorite for cocktails because it has a higher proof and blends well with a lot of flavors. For sipping at the end of a long day, I usually go with Single Barrel, barrel strength, neat. If it’s after an event, on the rocks.
What cocktail are you making for us today?
I’m making The Long Lavender Line made with Four Roses Bourbon. It is a refreshing and citrusy cocktail that works well with Four Roses Bourbon, as it retains a nice Bourbon flavor without taking away from the citrus. My tip for this drink is to smack the mint instead of muddling it, as a gentle way to release the aromatics.
Is there a cocktail ingredient that every home bartender should have on hand?
There are three staple items: Regular white sugar to make simple syrup, bitters, and any kind of citrus.
What tool should every home bartender keep on their bar cart?
Every home bartender should have a shaker tin, bar spoon, jigger–or something to measure with–and a citrus peeler.
Do you have any tips for combining flavors for new cocktails?
Keep it simple! Start with a classic like a Whiskey Sour or an Old Fashioned, and just change one of the simple syrups. This shift in one ingredient will change the drink but isn’t risky.
Is there anything else our home bartenders should know?
Don’t be afraid! Don’t let other people tell you what you like. If you make something and you like it, then that’s great.
The Long Lavender Line
1.5 oz Four Roses Bourbon
.5 oz Italicus
.25 oz Aperol
.5 oz Fresh lemon juice
1 barspoon (teaspoon) simple syrup
1 dash Lavender bitters
Build all ingredients in a shaker tin. Fill shaker tin with ice. Shake vigorously for 10-12 seconds. Use a Hawthorne strainer to strain drink into cocktail glass. It can be served up or on the rocks. Garnish with fresh mint. Express the mint by gently smacking it on the back of your hand a couple of times which should release the natural mint aromas. Sip and enjoy.
To make the simple syrup add 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar to bowl. Whisk until all of the sugar has been dissolved. Pour into container and store in refrigerator.
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