Just in time for Kentucky's spring horse racing season, we received a bottle of Brown-Forman's newest bourbon to try - Coopers' Craft! You may recognize some of their other bourbons, such as Jack Daniel's or Woodford Reserve, and they also make one of my favorite additions to champagne, Chambord.
Since I'm from Kentucky, I'd really like to say that I LOVE bourbon and drink it straight, but that isn't the case. I've tasted lots of bourbon and thanks to a number of distillery visits, know a fair amount about it, but I can't say it's my drink of choice. I'll have a handful of bourbon cocktails during the year at Keeneland or at Derby parties, so I prefer lighter bourbons that are easy to mix.
On Saturday night, we cracked open the bottle and invited some friends over to make cocktails, which was really fun! We had lots of snacks and a few mixers on hand (our favorite mixer with bourbon is Ale-8-One), and everyone went to town making their own cocktails. The highlights were the fun blackberry bourbon smash, classic Manhattan, and simple bourbon and ginger.
The consensus was that it is a great mixer. The experienced bourbon drinkers in our group agreed that they probably wouldn't reach for it if they were just having a bourbon neat or on the rocks, and I would use something a little more distinctive if I needed bourbon for a recipe. It is definitely a sweeter and lighter bourbon, which is just what I prefer in mixed drinks. In fact it is so easy to drink in a cocktail, you'd need to be careful not to overdo it!
Coopers' Cup is a mid-priced bottle (about $25-30), and you can find it in Kentucky and a handful of other Southern states right now. Coopers' Craft has also partnered with the Atlanta Braves this season with a bourbon bar inside of SunTrust Park, so you can stop by for a drink if you're at a Braves game this season. I plan to use it again this spring in a batch of bourbon punch for the Derby!