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Warren Bobrow’s Cocktail Hour: September is National Bourbon Month – The Cowboy Copas Cocktail

Photo: Warren Bobrow- Leica M8

It’s September already.  Can you believe it?  My thirst has literally dissolved from drinks that scream heat and humidity, to those that have wonderful warming qualities.  But not too warm.  After all, the calendar may be after Labor Day, but it’s still summer.  And summer means frosty libations that sing of their provenance.

I love Bourbon Whiskey.  Especially Bourbon Whiskey from Four Roses.  I have a plethora of Bourbon in the cellar but one that jumped out at me immediately is the sensuously shaped bottle of Four Roses.  Four Roses comes in a variety of qualities.  All of them have their own expression or flavor.  I find the Small Batch to be the most beguiling.

Carpano Antica Formula is my go/to for Sweet Vermouth.  Carpano is not inexpensive, but the cost is more than worth it- given the magical flavor profile.  With notes of wet stones, dark cooked fruit, blackberry jam and candied citrus fruits, it’s got the stuffing to be a cocktail on its own.  I love Carpano on the rocks with a twist of lemon and a splash of seltzer water.  I’m getting very thirsty.

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey when mixed with Carpano Antica and a Tenneyson Absinthe wash is what I want to celebrate National Bourbon Month

National Bourbon Month has existed since 2007, so it’s pretty well established.

My cocktail to celebrate National Bourbon Month will bring you into September and exit you into October with a minimum of dismay.  Bourbon can be enjoyed at any level, all month long.

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon is a graciously oaked liquor.  It evolves in the mouth like eating corn pudding or spoon bread hot from the oven.  Then ripping across your tongue you have the sensation of freshly grated cinnamon and the finish of broiled peaches rolled in spicy hot chilies.  It’s gorgeous stuff.

What this cocktail speaks to is a body of work that is the brilliance of Jim Rutledge, encapsulated into a Martini glass and injected into a concentrated format.  You don’t have to drink too much of it to enter your own escapism.  The glass, when washed with Tenneyson Absinthe and sprayed with orange zest is more than beguiling.  It’s otherworldly.

The Cowboy Copas Cocktail


Tenneyson Absinthe

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth

Orange zest and Grilled Orange Juice- sear or grill orange slices over charcoal then cool

Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Three Chilies

Bitter End Curry Bitters


Grill orange rounds over charcoal or in a smoking hot cast iron pan

Let cool

Muddle orange rounds in shaker glass and add some ice to cool further

Add 2 oz. Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

Add 1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

Pre-chill glass with 1/2 shot of Tenneyson Absinthe, water and ice, pour out when well chilled and frosty (you can drink this if you like)

Add two tablespoons of Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Three Chilies

Add four drops of Bitter End Curry Bitters

Rub an orange zest around the inside of a Martini glass to release the oils

Shake your mixing glass with the Four Roses and the Carpano plus the bitters and simple syrup

Double strain into your orange zest rubbed, pre-chilled- washed Martini glass

Garnish with a lemon zest and an orange zest

Enjoy within reason because this cocktail is most potent.

Five Stars out of Five! Danger Danger Danger!





Warren’s first book, Apothecary Cocktails is being published by Quayside/Rockport in November 2013 for the Xmas season. He has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews in NJ Monthly Magazine. (Served Raw, Drinking in America, DrinkGal.com, Bluewater Vodka, Purity Vodka, Botran Rum, Orleans Apple Aperitif, Marie Brizard, Art in the Age: Root, Snap, Rhuby, Hendricks Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Tuthilltown Spirits, Bitter Cube, Bitter Truth, Bitter End-Bitters, Bitters, Old Men…etc. etc.)
He’s written food articles and news for Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, NJ Monthly, Serious Eats, Daily Candy (Philadelphia) Rambling Epicure (Geneva, Switzerland)
Warren is the cocktail writer/mixologist for Foodista. He is a former trained chef who began as a dishwasher/potscrubber. He has also bar-tended at the four star Ryland Inn, located in NJ.
Warren is the On-Whiskey Columnist for Okra Magazine in New Orleans.
He is also a Ministry of Rum judge.
Warren is a self-taught photojournalist and shoots with the venerable Leica M8.


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