Cocktail with a Colombian twist

American Whiskey in Bogota

If you’re American, you might agree with me that there is nothing like a good American whiskey to remind you of home when you’re far away.

But it can be difficult to find a good selection in Colombia.That’s why I found it interesting that the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States sponsored the Great American Whiskey Experience to promote exports of American Whiskey to Bogota.

Held in the Hilton with the support of the American Embassy in Bogota, they discussed the history of U.S. whiskey and its unique production, and then got to the good part: a whiskey tasting and cocktail demo with American whiskeys.

JP Fetherston, award winning barman from the United States, headed up a mini course on American whiskeys and then prepared cocktails using U.S. liquors with some Colombian ingredients such as granadilla and uchuva. In my opinion, Colombian fruits make amazing cocktials, so I was glad to see them included in the event.  What liquors did Fetherston use? Brands that take me back home just by hearing their names: Jim Beam Straight Kentucky Bourbon, Maker’s Mark, Jack Daniel’s No. 7, Wild Turkey Bourbon 81, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, and Woodford Reserve Straight Kentucky Bourbon.

Robert Maron (representative of DISCUS), JP Fetherston (Mixologist) and Fabián Barrera (Lat One Group)
Robert Maron (representative of DISCUS), JP Fetherston (Mixologist) and Fabián Barrera (Lat One Group)

The good news about all this is that bringing more American whiskeys means expats in Bogota will have more choices when it comes to preparing cocktails. It seems like Colombians agree: between 2009 and 2014 imports of distilled liquors from the U.S. to Colombia have increased by 272%. The signing of the free trade agreement between Colombia and the U.S. in 2012 had a lot to do with that. We certainly hope Colombia has had an equal chance to sell their excellent rums, coffee liquors and aguardiente to the U.S.

Looking for some cocktail recipes that include Colombian fruits? Here are some of the cocktails that were prepared at the event:

El Poga Poga
1.5 oz Jim Beam White Label straight bourbon
.75 oz uchuva syrup
Lime juice
Don’s Mix #2
Angostura bitters

Shake in a cocktail shaker and strain into a tall glass. Add crushed ice. Garnish with uchuva and grapefruit peel.

El Faro Cocktail
45 ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
15 ml lemon juice
15 ml granadilla juice
6 drops strong coffee
Shake in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel and coffee beans.

And this one gets included here simply because it’s an old favorite:

Old Fashioned
45 ml Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon
2 tsp simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir and serve over ice in a whiskey glass.

American Whiskey in Bogota cocktail


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