In 1964, Congress recognized bourbon as America’s Native Spirit, and this year marks the seventh that we honor September as National Bourbon Heritage Month. But Las Vegas barman Max Solano celebrates bourbon every day. The Emeril Lagasse Restaurants mixologist and Delmonico Steakhouse beverage manager curates a whiskey collection reaching into the 530s and, lately, Buffalo Trace in particular has been on his mind.
To honor National Bourbon Heritage Month, Solano recently created a series of three cocktails to add to his ever-growing compendium: The BAM! Berry Fizz ($13), Eagle’s Nest ($13) and Frankfort Sour ($12; pictured) all prominently feature Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Elmer T. Lee bourbon, a sentimental tribute to the former master distiller who was a legend in the bourbon trade and who recently died at the age of 93. The Frankfort Sour is especially ideal for the end of summer, combining the Elmer T. Lee bourbon with fresh grapefruit and lime juice and citrusy Lillet Rosé. With each sip, the Frankfort Sour is both a love letter to summer as well as a confirmation of the promise of autumn.
As served at Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian, $12
Fill a double old-fashioned glass (11½-13 ounces) with ice and set it aside to chill. In a mixing glass or tin, combine 1½ ounces Buffalo Trace Elmer T. Lee bourbon, ½ ounce Lillet Rosé, 1 ounce freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice (strained), ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice (strained) and ¼ ounce Monin cane syrup. Add ice, cover and shake for approximately 10 seconds. Discard the ice from the double old-fashioned glass and replace with fresh ice. Strain the contents of the mixing glass/tin over the fresh ice into the glass. Garnish with a ruby red grapefruit triangle and a large, fresh mint sprig.