About a month ago Josh and I went with some friends to a fundraising event for The Therapy Place, a wonderful place here in town where children with a wide variety of disabilities receive many forms of therapy. It was a wonderful event and fun was had by all.
The evening ended early, well until several of us decided to go out afterwards. Our friends had a babysitter and our kids were out of town, the other couple has no children. We were all free!! We decided to go to The Speakeasy, a bar in the Five Points area of town. Josh and I used to go there when we were dating, he only lived a block away.
We sat at the bar and let’s just say we had a great time. We obviously don’t get out enough anymore! Josh and I watched the bartenders closely, nice perk of sitting at the bar. They were making many drinks we didn’t recognize. They were very nice and answered all our questions. We were students soaking it all in that night.
It was this night we learned about brown sugar simple syrup. That was totally new to us, like I said, we don’t get out much. Josh also tried a drink he saw another bartender making. Turns out it was a Mason Dixon. It starts with a lemon….slice off a thin layer of the peel, trying to avoid the pith. This gets rubbed, with the oil side of the peel to the glass, on the inside of a mason jar (what else would you serve this drink in?!). Take some very thinly sliced cucumbers and rub them along the jar, the oil will hold them in place on the sides. It really makes for a great presentation.
Then into a shaker you add some bourbon, fresh lemon juice and brown sugar simple syrup. How easy is that. Just shake it all over ice, strain into the mason jar and add a splash of seltzer. Serve with a twist of lemon and enjoy. I will admit to not being a bourbon fan, I am so in the minority in my family, but this drink was pretty good. Josh thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Mason Dixon Cocktail
Lemon, juice and zest
Thin slices of cucumber (pickling cucumbers work best for their small size)
4 oz. bourbon
2 oz. brown sugar simple syrup
Slice a small piece of the lemon peel off, avoiding the pith. Rub the peel inside two mason jars with the oily side against the glass. Next rub the cucumber slices on the inside of the jars, they should stick and stay in place. With the rest of the lemon take off some strips of peel for the twists.
Juice the lemon into a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon and simple syrup, shake vigorously. Strain into the jars and top off with a splash of seltzer. Garnish with a lemon twist.
For brown sugar simple syrup place equal parts water and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until all the sugar is dissolved. It will store in refrigerator for months, though mine never lasts that long!
If you have a very juicy lemon you may want to add a little more simple syrup.
Yields 2 servings