The JBird flies again: The reincarnation of this bar (originally located in Midtown) has made some Upper East Side denizens immensely happy. It's easy to see why, with drinks by Jason Littrell and the mindset that bars should be designed for its neighborhood. That same community feeling is how the bar served the Honey-Nut Old-Fashioned, courtesy of Marcos Tello from The Varnish in Los Angeles. Once you deal with fat-washing the peanuts in bourbon, the cocktail is a snap to make. For more 2012 Best Cocktail recipes, click here.
Recipe adapted from JBird, New York City, NY
Yield: 1 drink
4 ounces unsalted peanuts
750-milliliter bottle bourbon, preferably Buffalo Trace
¼ cup clover honey
¼ cup water
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel for garnish
1. Make the peanut-infused bourbon: Place the unsalted peanuts and the bottle of bourbon in a food-grade plastic container. Let steep for 24 hours. Strain the peanuts from the container, then pour the bourbon back into the bottle. Freeze the bottle of bourbon for 24 hours. While the liquid is still frozen, scoop off the fat that has risen to the top.
2. Make the honey syrup: In a small bowl, mix together the honey and water until the honey is well dissolved.
3. In a mixing glass filled with ice, add the bitters, ¼ ounce of the prepared honey syrup and 2 ounces of the prepared peanut-infused bourbon. Stir well, about 20 seconds. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with an orange peel. Serve.