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Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Whiskey – Best of Boise, Among Other Things…

by Max Wastler on February 17, 2015
The restaurants and bars in the City of Trees — Boise, Idaho, that is — boast appropriately beautiful woodwork, rambunctious yet overly courteous staffs, and craft cocktails which speak to the town’s once rough-and-tumble Western ways as much as they speak to the posh, cosmopolitan environs which infrastructure of industry and economy have brought to the place. After spending some time there, I found the best way to experience the town’s sprawling night life was to walk from place to place, watering hole to watering hole, before laying your head to rest for the night.

Basil Hayden's Bourbon Whiskey
“The Ten-Minute Manhattan is a very slow and romantic dance through the ice.”

I wonder if that is how Kevin Farney, bar manager at Chandlers Steakhouse in Boise, Idaho greets everyone. I was so impressed with the “bar science” behind the The Ten Minute Manhattan™ (yes, according to Farney, it is in fact trademarked), that I asked him to make a batch of them for a party he put together while I was in Idaho.

Basil Hayden's Bourbon Whiskey
Legend has it that a patron came into Chandlers and Farney’s predecessor, Boise cocktail legend Pat Carden began to make him a cocktail. The patron was distracted by something and left the bar promising to return. The bartender placed the cocktail on ice, and after ten minutes or so, the customer returned, and just as the bartender was going to toss the cocktail, he stopped short as the thought struck him. Convection, the process by which fluids rely on gravity to sink when cold and rise when hot, may cause a small but significant chemical change to occur when the various ingredients in the cocktail were left to fight for placement in a glass surrounded by ice. After weeks of trial-and-error, it was determined that after ten minutes of an unattended ice bath, the cocktails at Chandlers have reached an optimum level of mixture, and they’re ready to be poured.

Basil Hayden's Bourbon Whiskey

The Huckleberry Hound, so named for the flavorful state fruit of Idaho, emerged from a conversation I’d had with Farney prior to my arrival. I had asked him if there were any distinct fruits or vegetables that would be in season upon my visit.

Basil Hayden's Bourbon Whiskey
“Well, summer will be winding down,” he told me. “And the huckleberries will just have peaked. I make a mean huckleberry syrup.”

Basil Hayden's Bourbon Whiskey
And with that, he went to work. Testing the cocktail a number of ways, he came to the realization that the sharp, tart flavor of the huckleberries in his syrup meshed so perfectly with the spicy rye flavor of Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon that not much else was required. As for that “Hound” part, let’s just say a certain “Cultural Bloodhound” may have suggested it in attempt to mark his territory.

Chandlers of Boise’s Ten Minute Manhattan™
2 ½ parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
½ part Antica Formula™ Vermouth
2 dashes Orange Bitters

Pour ingredients in a mixing glass over ice, and bury in ice for ten minutes. Serve up and garnish with an orange twist.

Huckleberry Hound
2 ½ parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
½ part Maple/Huckleberry Infusion
– Huckleberry Infusion: muddle huckleberries* and steep in maple syrup overnight. Strain berries.
Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake. Strain into a coup glass. Garnish with fresh huckleberries.

*blueberries can be substituted for huckleberries when out-of-season

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