Southern Influence: Dinner for Two & A Tangerine Bourbon Cocktail

I recently took a whirlwind tour through the Southeast, hitting Memphis, Birmingham, Tampa and Jacksonville. After having a few days in warm weather, complete with good southern fare, drink and charm, I was not quite ready to say goodbye. So upon my return, I set a table and created a menu for my hubby and I to enjoy that had touches of southern influence.
For the centerpiece, a small palm tree complimented by a stately urn, set the tone of the table giving a nod to the beaches of the south. Hurricane lamps with rattan accents, as well as rattan chargers added to the light and airy feel.
We all  know that southern belles take entertaining seriously. They love their fine china and passed down monogrammed silver - all things that I applaud and included in this simple tabletop design.

Before heading down south, I have to admit that I had already been indulging in the trendy bourbon craze. The trip just gave me an added excuse to try more inventive cocktails with my new favorite spirit. We even stumbled onto a purveyor being featured at Hog & Hominy in Memphis. We got a chance to meet the owner, get the scoop on their legacy and distillation process (blog post for next week). Naturally, I had to concoct a bourbon cocktail for our southern influenced dinner.

Frankly, the pictures of the cocktail look a little sad  because I kept drinking it while I was shooting. It tasted so good - I could not resist. A very loose take on  a Sidecar sort-of, this recipe combines tangerine juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla extract with bourbon over crushed ice. I have since added fresh mint to the recipe, as well.The layers of flavor bring out the sweetness of the bourbon and the citrus juice balances it out just right. It's a perfect drink for sipping leisurely.

Tangerine Bourbon Cocktail
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce tangerine juice
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of  crushed ice
  • Slice of tangerine or tangerine peel, and sprigs of mint, for garnish 
  1. Place first six ingredients into a low ball glass and stir.
  2. Add crushed ice and stir for one minute.
  3. Rub the rim of the glass with a tangerine wedge
  4. Add garnish.

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