For this twist on a classic old-fashioned, leaving the peel in the glass is a nod to the more modern version of the drink.
Make Ahead: The cilantro syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- For the syrup
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 cup sugar
- 20 to 30 stems cilantro
- For the drink
- Three 2- to 4-inch pieces grapefruit peel (a little bit of pith is okay)
- 2 dashes celery bitters, preferably The Bitter Truth brand
- 1/2 ounce cilantro syrup (see above)
- 2 ounces W. L. Weller Special Reserve bourbon (80 proof; may substitute another 80-to-90-proof wheated bourbon such as Maker’s Mark)
For the syrup: Combine the water and cilantro in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring every few minutes to make sure the cilantro stays submerged. Stir in the sugar and reduce the heat; cook for 5 minutes to form a syrup, stirring to make sure the sugar has dissolved. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a container; let cool. Discard the cilantro. The yield is a scant 1 cup.
For the drink: Gently muddle the grapefruit peel, bitters and syrup in the glass you wish to serve the cocktail in. Add the bourbon and ice; stir briefly to combine.
From Jessica Crandall of Bourbon in Glover Park.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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