Bourbon, lemon juice and honey are a workhorse trio that can be found in everything from the Whiskey Sour and Gold Rush to various Toddies. Throw ginger in the mix, and now you’re approaching Penicillin territory, but trading scotch for bourbon. There’s a lot you can do with these simple ingredients, but how you use them--and what you combine them with--still leaves plenty of room for experimentation.
The Coal Miner’s Daughter is an original creation from California bartender Derrick Bass, who first made it while while working at Willie Jane in Venice, California. It combines bourbon, lemon juice and honey with spicy ginger syrup and fragrant lavender.
Ginger syrup can be made at home or behind the bar by mixing peeled, chopped ginger with sugar and water, similar to how you make simple syrup. The syrup is fresh and intensely flavored, perfect for mixing with multiple spirit types and for doctoring all manner of drinks. In the Coal Miner’s Daughter, it acts less as a sweetener (honey takes care of that) and more as a spicy accent.
The lavender sprig is thrown directly into the shaker and combined with the other ingredients. Another sprig is used for garnish, ensuring that the cocktail is redolent with notes of summer and spring. This drink proves that whiskey cocktails are so much more than cold-weather go-tos. Join together the right ingredients, and you can make light, easygoing cocktails that provide thirst-quenching refreshment on warm days.
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce honey
- 1 teaspoon ginger syrup
- 1 sprig lavender
- Garnish: lavender sprig
Add the bourbon, lemon juice, honey, ginger syrup and lavender sprig into a shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a rock glass filled with one large ice cube.
Slap a lavender sprig on the back of your hand to release its aromas, then use it to garnish the drink.