Ride on, Kentucky Kid.

After two competitions on my side dictating the drink Katja had to match, it was her turn to come up with a cake for me to match with a cocktail.

And so here I was having to match a violet tasting cake with a cocktail. Easy enough, just an Aviation variation and I’m done. Actually not so easy….

Balancing the violet flavor in a drink was a real nightmare. I ended up with cocktails that were waaaayyyyy too syrupy and sugar loaded, they weren’t bad, but clearly lacked finesse and would have given anybody trying the cake at the same time instant diabete.

And so : “One more time guys, back from the start”.

That was last week, in between, the french round for MotoGP (motorcycle racing, check it out, it’s really cool) was held in Le Mans, and like every year since 2008, I was going there with friends to spend the week end watching motorcycles going round and round the track at 200 mph.

This year though, it was a bit more sad than years before, as Nicky Hayden, american rider, world champion in 2006, was in an hospital, in critical condition after being hit by a car as he was cycling down the Amalfi coast in Italy.

He died on Monday,  May 22nd, at the age of 35.

It’s difficult to write how weirdly hard it is to lose somebody you don’t really know, but made you dream, excited on every race weekend, laugh at every interview he made…

Nicky Hayden was always smiling, truely showing how much he enjoyed what he was doing and clearly for him, motorcycle racing was just a way of life. I had the chance to see him live at a meet and greet a few years ago, and his charisma, smile and joy were such a pleasure to witness…

I could really go on and on about the 2006 championship and the rollercoaster of emotions the two last races were, the fall when Nicky could have grabbed the title, postponing the result to the last race of the season….Or how the difficult years at ducati and then on the open class Honda were painful to watch as it was looking at a great rider that couldn’t just get more of the bike but I feel I’m boring enough….

In the end I was just always impressed of how much of a great athlete and a real sportsman the guy always was, truely setting an example of how a competing athlete, racer, man, should behave.

Anyway, through this cocktail I wanted to pay him an hommage, thank him for those 10 years of awesome racing.

So… Thank you Nicky

NIcky Hayden’s nickname was “The Kentucky Kid” so it’s gonna be the name of that cocktail. Obviously, I started with bourbon as my base spirit, choosing Bulleit Frontier Whisky.

As I didn’t wanted to overpower the drink making just another old fashioned variation, I limited the bourbon part to 20ml,

I then went on to build the drink as something complementary of the cake and not a repetition of the taste. I wanted it light and fruity enough to go with a floral cake, so I added Chambord liqueur black raspberry liquor that was more than enough to sweeten the drink.

Moving on to more fruit, I wanted to contrast with the red color of the bourbon mixed with the chambord, to reflect the Repsol Honda racing paint scheme :

I knew the Chambord would go right with apple juice, but I would totally lose the alcohol kick from the little dose of bourbon that was in the cocktail.

To counterbalance that, I just added some applejack (If you’re in France : Calvados).

Kentucky Kid cocktail :

  • Kentucky Bourbon : 20ml
  • Chambord liqueur : 30ml
  • Applejack : 15ml
  • Apple juice : 30ml

To make it : crush enough ice to fill an old fashioned glass and pour the ingredients in order : Chambord, bourbon, applejack and apple juice. Just garnish with a mint leave after expressing it over the glass and you’re good to go.

The result is a fresh, fruity drink with a kick that you can sip while (re)watching The doctor, the tornado and the kentucky kid


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