Happy World Whiskey Day! To celebrate the holiday, we’re taking a look into the creation of the Ranger Buck. A delicious twist on a beloved classic cocktail, the Ranger Buck features Colorado-made bourbon and ginger paired with birch and amaro.
To build the recipe, Death & Co National Beverage Director Tyson Buhler borrowed flavors from a drink created by Jon Armstrong at Death & Co East Village in 2016: Bourbon & Birch. Featuring bourbon, ginger, cinnamon, amaro and birch, it was warming, comforting, and complex. The pairing of spicy fresh ginger tempered by sweet, round flavors and texture of good bourbon is certainly not a new one — but one that never fails to impress. In our Ranger Buck, Amaricano amaro lends chocolate and cherry flavors, and birch provides underlying earthiness. The result is a cocktail equal parts familiar and intriguing, refreshing and satisfying.
The choice of bourbon is equally as important, which is why we chose Woody Creek Bourbon from Basalt, Colorado. Woody Creek is all about the grains. It’s what sets their whiskies apart from Kentucky, Texas, Indiana, and every other whiskey producing region in the country. All the corn, wheat, rye and barley in Woody Creek whiskies come from within 100 miles of their Basalt, Colorado distillery – it’s what makes their whiskies a distinctly Colorado product.
With Colorado grains as the basis for the whiskey, Master Distiller David Matthews then began to experiment with different mash bills. Like a chef perfecting his recipe, he tried a variety of combinations for the bourbon – the initial formula for the bourbon included wheat but was later changed to rye. Matthews said of the process, “The bourbon sort of evolved. In the early days we experimented with a variety of mash bills and settled on a wheated initially. About two years in, we were so pleased with how our rye whiskey was ageing that we decided to swap out the wheat in our bourbon for rye. Our core bourbon is now 70% corn, 15% rye and 15% malt barley.”
Join us in celebrating World Whiskey Day by picking up the Ranger Buck or browsing Woody Creek whiskey on DrinkFellows.