The Forefathers Cocktail: A Nod to Southern Traditions in a Glass
In the heart of Bentonville, Arkansas, at the quaint Bar Cleeta, bartender Weisi Basore has crafted a cocktail that encapsulates the essence of the South. The Forefathers cocktail is more than just a drink; it’s a tribute to the region’s cherished traditions, blending the refreshing taste of sweet tea with the timeless appeal of bourbon.
A Southern Staple Reimagined
Sweet tea is a staple in the South, a symbol of hospitality and comfort. Basore, with her rich experience in the cocktail industry, including her time with the late Sasha Petraske and at New York City’s Blue Hill, brings a sophisticated twist to this beloved beverage. The Forefathers cocktail is a creative rendition of an Old Fashioned, incorporating sweet tea oleo saccharum, a unique syrup that combines the zesty oils of citrus peels with the sweetness of sugar, infused with the classic flavor of sweet tea.
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Ingredients - What's in it?
- 2 ounces Bourbon Whiskey - Evan Williams 1783
- 2 teaspoons Sweet tea oleo saccharum*
- 3 dashes Peach bitters
- Garnish: orange peel
Instructions - How to make it:
- Combine the bourbon, sweet tea oleo saccharum, and peach bitters in a mixing glass with ice.
- Stir until well-chilled.
- Strain the mixture into an Old Fashioned glass over a large ice cube.
- Garnish with an orange peel.
Sweet Tea Oleo Saccharum:
- Peel 4 lemons and 2 oranges.
- In a sealed bag, mix the peels with 2 cups of sugar.
- Let sit for 24-48 hours, then cook with 1 1/2 cups unsweetened, chilled Red Diamond tea until syrup forms.
A Taste of the South
The Forefathers cocktail is a liquid homage to Southern culture. The sweet tea oleo saccharum brings a delightful citrusy twist to the drink, while the peach bitters add a subtle fruity note, complementing the robust flavors of the bourbon. This cocktail aligns perfectly with Bar Cleeta’s ethos of simple, classic-inspired drinks made from seasonal ingredients.