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Bleu Bohème boasts an aged Old Fashioned

It’s hard to have just one Bourbon Vieille

Bourbon Vieille
Bourbon Vieille

GG

“Bartenders are like iPhones; you have to keep updating,” says GG Droege, the bar lead for Bleu Bohème. In keeping with that turn of phrase, he encourages me to venture outside the routine and try his latest concoction. “Having an Old Fashioned in a French restaurant, it’s a thing. Because you always want to start with a cocktail. And then after, maybe jump into wine.”

Over his many years at Bleu, he says, guests have often asked, “‘Will you make a really, really great Old Fashioned?’ and I guarantee them, ‘After this, you’re not gonna have one, you’re gonna have two or three, because I’m 100% sure of what I’m doing.’ And a little later, they’re like… ‘Can I get another one?’”

GG’s Bourbon Vieille combines three-month new French oak barrel-aged bourbon with simple syrup, orange bitters, and Angostura bitters. “It’s a High West bourbon that we use. The reason is because I go to Park City three times a year and my favorite restaurant on Main Street is called 501, and they introduced me to it. And now I love it.”

What sets it apart, other than coming from a uniquely Utahn whiskey distillery, is “the quality, and especially that it’s high elevation where they distill. It tastes a little like maple syrup. It’s very fine, delicate, and soft to drink. It’s not too commercial, which I love about it,” he explains. “But I always say the best is the one that you like.”

Place

Bleu Bohème

4090 Adams Avenue, San Diego

During the infusion process, “we taste it every month to see what it needs. If it needs more bitters, if we need to keep it an extra two weeks — just to make sure it’s the same quality every time.” He says the barrel does most of the job. “That’s why it tastes a little syrupy in the beginning. You will feel ‘the love’ in the first sip, but then it gets soft.”

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For the cherry on top, he opts for something fresh and homemade. “What we do is boil brandy and we add some sugar, cloves, cinnamon and anise. And once the brandy’s boiling we turn it off and let the cherries sit in the brandy for 15 minutes, and with the same heat it cooks the cherries. You don’t want to overcook the cherries,” he instructs, “because then it’s going to break apart, we just want it nice and firm.”

Another signature GG move: “You have to muddle the orange peel in the glass. When you twist the orange peel you will get a little bit of oil still, but you will get more flavor when you muddle it in the glass, before you put all the ingredients in.”

Bleu Bohème

Bleu Bohème’s

Bourbon Vieille

  • ¼ oz simple syrup
  • 2.5 oz bourbon
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 dashes orange bitters

Muddle an orange peel in an Old Fashioned glass. First add simple syrup, then dashes of bitters, and then bourbon. Add a large ice cube, then garnish with a cherry and dehydrated orange wheel.

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Bourbon Vieille
Bourbon Vieille

GG

“Bartenders are like iPhones; you have to keep updating,” says GG Droege, the bar lead for Bleu Bohème. In keeping with that turn of phrase, he encourages me to venture outside the routine and try his latest concoction. “Having an Old Fashioned in a French restaurant, it’s a thing. Because you always want to start with a cocktail. And then after, maybe jump into wine.”

Over his many years at Bleu, he says, guests have often asked, “‘Will you make a really, really great Old Fashioned?’ and I guarantee them, ‘After this, you’re not gonna have one, you’re gonna have two or three, because I’m 100% sure of what I’m doing.’ And a little later, they’re like… ‘Can I get another one?’”

GG’s Bourbon Vieille combines three-month new French oak barrel-aged bourbon with simple syrup, orange bitters, and Angostura bitters. “It’s a High West bourbon that we use. The reason is because I go to Park City three times a year and my favorite restaurant on Main Street is called 501, and they introduced me to it. And now I love it.”

What sets it apart, other than coming from a uniquely Utahn whiskey distillery, is “the quality, and especially that it’s high elevation where they distill. It tastes a little like maple syrup. It’s very fine, delicate, and soft to drink. It’s not too commercial, which I love about it,” he explains. “But I always say the best is the one that you like.”

Place

Bleu Bohème

4090 Adams Avenue, San Diego

During the infusion process, “we taste it every month to see what it needs. If it needs more bitters, if we need to keep it an extra two weeks — just to make sure it’s the same quality every time.” He says the barrel does most of the job. “That’s why it tastes a little syrupy in the beginning. You will feel ‘the love’ in the first sip, but then it gets soft.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

For the cherry on top, he opts for something fresh and homemade. “What we do is boil brandy and we add some sugar, cloves, cinnamon and anise. And once the brandy’s boiling we turn it off and let the cherries sit in the brandy for 15 minutes, and with the same heat it cooks the cherries. You don’t want to overcook the cherries,” he instructs, “because then it’s going to break apart, we just want it nice and firm.”

Another signature GG move: “You have to muddle the orange peel in the glass. When you twist the orange peel you will get a little bit of oil still, but you will get more flavor when you muddle it in the glass, before you put all the ingredients in.”

Bleu Bohème

Bleu Bohème’s

Bourbon Vieille

  • ¼ oz simple syrup
  • 2.5 oz bourbon
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 dashes orange bitters

Muddle an orange peel in an Old Fashioned glass. First add simple syrup, then dashes of bitters, and then bourbon. Add a large ice cube, then garnish with a cherry and dehydrated orange wheel.

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