Iron Fashioned – Alabama Bartenders

Iron Fashioned

After several hours of intense R&D, we had a plan for the Vulcan Park & Museum’s annual cocktail competition for Alabama Bartenders. A simple, classic cocktail, that made use of local ingredients to represent Birmingham’s blossoming bar scene.

This cocktail, in theory, started out with some of the most iconic of Birmingham and Alabama brands. There were a multitude of products that  interested me and as I dove into the history of the Iron City, I uncovered even more than I had expected.  Through all the trial runs I used several hallmark items including those from Milo’s Hamburgers, Barber Dairies, Good People Brewery, Golden Flake, and even had a hair brained idea of filtering through raw iron ore….just think of that!

Instead, throughout my research, one brand kept popping up that was a match made in heaven from the get go. Buffalo Rock! Born just a few short years before the inception of the Vulcan statue, this spicy southern ginger soda was exactly the kick I was looking for. Both the Vulcan statue and the Buffalo Rock brand have stood the test of time, and more so through 2 prohibitions.

“2 Prohibitions?” you might ask. Yes, Alabama, being the conservative state that it was…is…thought this Temperance thing might just need a move on before the Feds implement it, so one of the first examples of a “Dry” social experiment took place in Jefferson County from 1908 to 1911. Failing once didn’t stop the state from also following up with Federal law in 1919 when the Volstead Act was instituted and also ending this a full 4 years later than our great governing body repealed the 18th Amendment. This all adds up to, you guessed it, a whopping 25 years of absence of legal spirit in the state.

This only solidified the idea that at some point in the early years, Buffalo Rock must have crossed paths with some good ole homemade whisky. That whisky, could have more than likely been bootlegged in from Bullock County, where Clyde May’s Alabama Style Whisky got its infamous name! Naturally, I like to mess around with such ideas and stories until they become more folklore, but to add a cocktail on top just adds fuel to the fire. In honor of Vulcan’s 110th year overlooking the city, The Bar Hops took home the Gold in this competition. Heres to you big guy from all of us Alabama bartenders!

Iron Fashioned

2.5oz Clyde May’s Alabama Style Whiskey
0.5oz Buffalo Rock© syrup (recipe below)
2 dashes Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
1 dash Kübler Absinthe Superieure
Orange peel garnish

1. Add Clyde May’s, Buffalo Rock© syrup, Cardamom Bitters, and Kübler Absinthe to a mixing glass.
2. Fill with ice to the top of the mixing glass and stir rapidly for 25 seconds.
3. Julep Strain into a rocks glass over a large chunk of ice.
4.Using a potato peeler, cut a large swath of orange rind, and squeeze lengthwise over the drink to express the oils into the cocktail.
5. Rub peel on the lip of the glass, twist and slide into the side of the glass.
6. Enjoy

Buffalo Rock© syrup
2 12oz cans Buffalo Rock© Southern Spice Ginger Ale
2/3 cup Natural Florida Crystal Sugar
1/3 cup Demerara Sugar

1. Open Buffalo Rock© cans and pour into a pot on high heat.
2. Bring to a boil and immediately cut down to medium heat.
3. Continue to heat until mixture has lost all carbonation and the Buffalo Rock has reduced to 1/3 the volume (8 oz).
4. Stir in Natural Florida Sugar and Demerara Sugar until dissolved completely.
5. Take away from heat and put in a refrigerator to cool down.

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