Ashley R. is the Head Bartender and Manager at Saint Lawrence Gridiron in Boise, Idaho. She’s known for challenging traditional expectations regarding what a cocktail should be, and having an intuitive understanding of the way flavors interact. She’s currently on a mission to trick her bourbon drinking boss into drinking gin. We’ll keep you posted on that.
There is a local, published author name Alan Heathcock in the city I live in. He’s a personal friend as well, and a regular at the bar I manage, and has been a test subject for a while now. He came in while I was working on this cocktail and described it as strong, but subtle and welcoming, as I do him. For that, a name was chosen: The Heathcock.
I like cocktails that are herbaceous, floral, and spicy. I love whiskey with high rye mash bill, and I usually prefer using rye over bourbon in cocktails. At my restaurant, you’ll see me in our garden picking herbs, or on the phone with local farms looking for unique and different flowers and plants (and no, I don’t use a Jeweler’s Loupe to “curate my herbs.“) Combining bold spirits, and allowing them to play together in order to make something unexpected is something I really take joy in.
The Heathcock is a stiff drink, but makes its presence known in a subtle, delicate way. I have been playing with versions of this drink for months, using regulars in my bar as my tasting table. I tried complex versions, adding more spirits, different spices or herbs, but I found that this cocktail is more delicious as a minimalist.
The Whiskey – I use Bulleit Rye. Full of spice, cinnamon, caramel, and a little pepper at the end, it commands the front of this cocktail. It’s a go-to rye for cocktails because it can stand up to other liquor, and a staple for any home bar to sip over ice. At around $24 a bottle, it is one of the best ryes I have had for the price.
The Liqueur – Adding some brightness, and a little more structure, I add Gran Classico. Gran Classico is an orange bitter liqueur. It is similar in flavor to Campari, but less severe. It’s full bodied, smooth; and a little sweet at first, but finishes tasting more similar to a traditional bitter on the end. Next I add one teaspoon of Green Chartreuse. With 130 herbs, this is one of my favorites to work with; I probably use it too often. I have a problem, I admit it. A lot less sweet than its counterpart, Yellow Chartreuse, it plays beautifully in cocktails.
The Bitters – Orange bitters is all we need to complete the Heathcock. Although we are already using Gran Classico, orange bitters add a little more distinction to the cocktail without adding sweetness. The Heathcock is my flavor profile in cocktail form.
- 2 oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey
- .50 oz Gran Classico
- 1 tsp Green Chartruese
- 3 dashes Orange Bitters
Stir, pour over a big rock. Garnish with a kiss of orange.