Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Sunday Cocktails and Smoke

Midway through the Memorial Day weekend, found us in our usual place -- on the deck enjoying the weather. After Mass and a late breakfast, I brewed a pot of French press coffee, and headed outside to enjoy the limited sunshine and spend some time with a good book. Rain threatened and the temperature cooled, while the breeze picked up, and we soon moved into the screened porch. And then it was time for cocktails. 

The libation of choice was a Bufala Negra cocktail. There are several variations of this flavorful bourbon cocktail online, but the one I've saved is simple. 

- 4 basil leaves               
- 1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar               
- 1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
- Ice for mixing, serving                
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon               
- 1 1/2 ounces chilled ginger ale

In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 of the basil leaves with the balsamic vinegar and simple syrup. Add ice and the bourbon and shake well. Strain the drink into an ice-filled rocks glass, stir in the ginger ale and garnish with the remaining basil leaf. Enjoy.

For the bourbon portion I used John J. Bowman Single Barrel from the A. Smith Bowman Distillery right here in Fredericksburg, VA. And naturally, a single large cube of ice in the glass.

I chose a Casa Magna Colorado Robusto to enjoy with the drink. The deep red Nicaraguan maduro wrapper holds Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigar was listed as the 2008 Cigar Afficianado Cigar of the Year though I had never had it prior. The reddish-brown wrapper and gold label make an attractive presentation.

Sadly, I found the smoke to be fairly bland. There was no richness of flavors. I remarked to Colleen that I just wasn't getting a whole lot out of it. Even well after my drink was finished and I was sipping water, the flavor profile never really broke out. Mild leather, wood, and some sweetness, not much more. I did find a few online reviews that confirmed my experience with the Casa Magna Colorado being a one dimensional smoke. 

Despite the relatively uninteresting cigar, the afternoon was quite pleasant and time well-spent enjoying the outdoors.


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