Extending the Bourbon Trail
Abbe Lewis - June 2013
Sean Josephs and his team at Maysville raise their glasses to the sweet golden nectar from Kentucky.
What’s said to be the birthplace of Bourbon is now the name of Sean Josephs’ newest restaurant in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood. Maysville pays homage to the amber libation, and Josephs is enjoying every sip. A native New Englander, Josephs developed a taste for brown spirits through his experiences in the South with his wife, Mani, a New Orleans native and owner of Tía Pol tapas restaurant in Manhattan. Leaving a career in advertising, Josephs opened his whiskey-focused Char No.4 in Brooklyn and has been going full steam ever since.
The backbar is stocked to the ceiling with 150 to 200 premium Bourbons and other American whiskeys, while the drinks list is broken down into Cocktails, Barrel-Aged Cocktails, Classic Whiskey Cocktails, Mixed Drinks, and Bourbon & A Beer. While some of the more popular drinks are always at play, the roster continually rotates, highlighting seasonal flavors.
Josephs scouts for the best mixers and incorporates them in a minimalist fashion. Of the piquant ginger ale from South Carolina that’s used in the Spicy Buck, he states, “I can’t sniff the Blenheim’s without sneezing. It’s got a serious kick.” And the very American menu by chef Kyle Knall (a Gramercy Tavern alum) incorporates enough smoke and char to accompany any barrel-aged Bourbon.
- 1.5 oz. chile Bourbon
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 1 oz. pineapple juice
- 1/4 oz. Cherry Heering
- lime wedge
- 1/2 oz. brown sugar simple syrup
Combine chile Bourbon, juices, Cherry Heering, and simple syrup in a shaker with ice; shake vigorously; double strain over ice into Collins glass; garnish with a lime wedge.
Chile Bourbon: Add 2 habañeros (x-sliced into the flower end) into 1 liter bottle of Bourbon; close the top of the bottle; let sit for 18 to 24 hours; strain Bourbon; store in a closed container or an empty Bourbon bottle.
Brown Sugar Simple Syrup: Combine 1 part water and 1 part brown sugar; boil; let cool.
- 1.5 oz. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7
- 3 oz. Jamaican Ting grapefruit soda
- 3 drops Jamaican jerk bitters
- grapefruit peel
Add Jack Daniels, Jamaican Ting, and bitters in Collins glass with ice; stir; garnish with grapefruit peel.
- 1.5 oz. wheated Bourbon, such as Larceny
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. sweet vermouth
- orange peel
Combine Bourbon, Campari, and vermouth in shaker with ice; stir until shaker frosts over; strain over ice; garnish with orange peel.
- 2 oz. Bourbon
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 1/2 oz. maple syrup
- ginger beer
Shake Bourbon, lime juice, and maple syrup together; strain over ice into rocks glass; top with ginger beer (preferably Regatta ginger beer).
- 1.5 oz. honey Bourbon
- 1 oz. grapefruit juice
- 1/4 oz. lime juice
- 1/4 oz. ginger juice
- mint leaves
Combine honey Bourbon and juices in shaker; shake about 20 times; double strain over ice into a Collins glass; garnish with a few leaves of mint.
Honey Bourbon: 8.5 oz. honey per liter of Bourbon. Microwave honey until loose; whisk it into the Bourbon.