Elements Kitchen & Martini Bar (4950 S. Rainbow Blvd., 750-2991) rolled out the barrels, the cigars and the red carpet for the recent Nevada launch of W.H. Harrison Indiana Bourbon (HarrisonBourbon.com). Melange Beverage Group’s pairing dinner featured original bourbon cocktails and imaginative takes on classics created by Bellagio bartender and Melange mixologist Sean Bigley. The No. 9 was created to pair with chef Jose Luis Pawelek’s salad of mixed greens with peaches, mint, candied bourbon pecans tossed with mint-peach vinaigrette. “It has enough depth and character for the seasoned bourbon drinker,” Bigley says, “but is soft enough to be an introductory cocktail for the non-bourbon drinker. I like to think of it as mint julep-meets-lemon drop.” Be gentle with the mint, but be generous with the bourbon. It’s the American way.
Clap 8 mint leaves between your palms once each to gently release the essential oils and place in a mixing glass. Add 1½ ounces W.H. Harrison Governor’s Reserve bourbon, ½ ounce Marie Brizard Apry apricot brandy, 1½ ounces fresh sweet & sour mix, and 3 dashes peach bitters. Add ice, shake well and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.