Spirits

Chill with friends and cocktails at two for £10

Firebrand cocktail deal

The sun’s beaming down and 5pm is tantalisingly close so it’s unlikely much work is getting done in offices around Cornwall. Instead, it’s the ideal weather to enjoy a couple of cocktails with colleagues or friends and plan your weekend. From 5 to 8pm on Monday to Thursday you can choose two for £10 – the perfect excuse if any were needed.

If you’ve got a favourite that isn’t listed then just ask. Firebrand offers a bar full of mixers and spirits from Cornish gin to American bourbon for you to explore and enjoy.

You’ve probably seen we’re opening seven days a week throughout the summer so there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge!

Firebrand cocktail list

The true American spirit – an intro to bourbon

If you’re after a spirit to pair with American barbecue then for an authentic experience it needs to be bourbon. It’s yet to properly catch on in most of the UK, but the corn-based whiskey is hot property in the States. Forget any ideas about some harsh brown liquid mixed with Coke in awful nightclubs. If you’ve yet to enjoy a slug of proper bourbon it’s time to change that.

Friends bourbon

For liquor to be classified as bourbon it has to be made from a mash of at least 51% corn and be stored in charred, new oak barrels for a minimum of two years. That may sound overly simple compared with those expensive single malts you’re used to sipping, but don’t be put off by the whiskey label. Bourbon is a different – but certainly not inferior – spirit with its own flavour profile. In fact it’s starting to out-perform Scotch in some respected spirit contests, so put those bad student experiences with Jack Daniel’s out of your mind.

When Americans first distilled bourbon in the 18th century it’s pretty unlikely they’d have foreseen it morphing into an $8 billion industry, nor the near-collapse distillers suffered just a few years ago. If anything, they’d have far more in common with the craft distilleries now springing up hot on the tail of the craft beer boom.

It’s difficult – and almost prohibitively expensive – to import most of the latest craft offerings to the UK. But, just as with Scotch, when it comes to bourbon, big doesn’t have to mean bad. If you’re new to bourbon there’s no need to fly to Kentucky or splurge hundreds of dollars on import fees. You don’t even need to plan a trip to London, as you can sample some great bourbon at affordable prices right here in the bars of Cornwall. Here are five to seek out:

Buffalo 1

Buffalo Trace is on almost every list of affordable must-tries, and for good reason. It’s well-balanced and has a highly-drinkable caramel toffee flavour. There’s a spicy after taste with notes of cinnamon and the list of awards it’s vacuuming up is ever-increasing. The distillery as a whole has won more titles than any other.

makers_mark_bourbon

Maker’s Mark uses wheat instead of rye in the mash which makes it sweeter and milder than your average bourbon. It has a fruity nose with a full and rich palate.

Bulleit-Sour-1

Bulleit is sold in a beautiful bottle which harks back to the Old West. Proving it’s not just a pretty face, it took a gold medal at the prestigious 2004 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. You’ll be able to taste marmalade and hints of banana and smoke.

WoodfordReserve

Woodford Reserve is crafted with a high percentage of rye and triple distilled before being matured for at least six years. This creates a thick and mature bourbon with a broad palate including hints of butterscotch, espresso, honey and spice.

Knob Creek

Knob Creek is spicy and sweet with notes of oak, fruit, butter and caramel. It is very widely available, which isn’t surprising as it won double gold at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

If you’ve given these five a go let us know what you think. We currently stock Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark and Bulleit at Firebrand, but if you’re ready to expand your horizons and want to try something new then drop us an email at info@firebrand.co.uk. If you enjoy a bourbon as much as we do then get in touch and we’ll sit down with you and a few different bottles for a proper tasting.

And if this has piqued your interest, take a quick look at how bourbon is made:

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