Love a good reshake that wasn’t intended to be a reshake? Well, I’ve certainly fallen for this one! The Kentucky Buck, a riff on the classic Whiskey Buck, was a creation of bartender, Erick Castro. It combines strawberry with bourbon, lemon, bitters and ginger beer. For any who may not know, ginger ale or ginger beer is what makes a cocktail a Buck or a Mule. We were all set up and ready to give y’all the Kentucky Buck, but then I tried a sip before adding the ginger beer, and I had to ask myself, “Does this really need ginger beer?”
The answer was BUCK NO! I mean no disrespect to the many delicious bucks & mules that are enjoyed around the world, but with fresh strawberry & lemon juice playing off the subtle spiciness of the Angostura Bitters, the ginger beer just wasn’t really needed here. So we made the choice to 86 the ginger beer, but that meant our cocktail was no longer a buck, so we had to brainstorm new name options. That is the creation story of The Buck Stops Here!
Step 1: Start off by muddling the strawberry in a cocktail shaker.
Step 2: Add all other ingredients and fill the shaker three fourths full of ice.
Homemade Simple Syrup Recipe:
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Let cool, then pour into a jar and seal tightly with a lid.
Step 3: Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
When should you stir a cocktail and when should you shake? Well, when you shake a cocktail, not only does it dilute your final product– it changes its texture. When you stir– you’re simply chills and dilutes your drink. So, it all comes down to what your ingredients are. For example a drink with egg white will need a shake to create foam.
A good rule of thumb to follow– if your cocktail is clear, stir. If it’s cloudy, shake.
Step 4: Strain into an ice filled rocks glass.
Why double strain? The process of double straining is to ensure that any unwanted pieces like fruit or egg whites aren’t left in your cocktail before drinking– making for a perfectly smooth sip each time!
Step 5: Garnish with the other half of the strawberry and a lemon wheel.
For me, it was reminiscent of summertime strawberry lemonade, but with a kick! You can really play around with this cocktail recipe and see what works best for you. Making small adjustments to the amount of strawberry or simple syrup can make a sweeter cocktail, or you can even opt to add the ginger beer. It’s completely up to you, and that’s half the fun, right? What ever you decide to do, I hope you enjoy your Kentucky Buck or The Buck Stops Here cocktail. Both are Queen Bee approved!