“I decided to name it after the famous swine character from Charlotte’s Web,” says Jeff Leanheart, beverage director at The Smith restaurants in New York. “Picture a beautiful farm in the mountains upstate during the fall with all the colors. That’s what we want to capture with The Sweet Wilbur.”
For the fall cocktail, Leanheart prefers using a specialty bourbon from the Berkshires—in an area known for raising high quality pigs—and combining it with a small craft sugar maple liqueur from Lee, New Hampshire. For a special twist, he says, add a couple dashes of Ms. Piggy bitters (smoked bacon and peppercorn).
“I love the warming agents of bourbon and spiced apple and cider when the weather is getting cold. Also, the bitters are really unique with a hint of bacon. I love that we could incorporate bacon in a really subtle way, without actually using it as an ingredient that could overpower,” Leanheart explains. “All the flavors bring together a lot of quintessential fall ingredients for this time of year in a harmonious way, that’s not too sweet or bitter, with a great caramelized flavor profile. I also love the Tahitian vanilla salt on the rim. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty, like salted caramel.”
The Sweet Wilbur
1.5 oz Bourbon
.5oz Sugar Maple Liqueur
.5 oz Lemon Juice
Dash of Allspice Dram
1.25 Apple Cider
2 dash Ms. Piggy’s bitters
Garnish: Vanilla Salt Rim
Add ingredients to glass cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Pour into a double old fashion glass over fresh ice. Garnish.