They say Orange County has 329 days of sunshine a year. Bosscat Kitchen & Libations has 329 whiskeys on their menu. Coincidence? With all that choice, how does one decide besides trying a different one each time the sun shines? One way to get through a few is by checking out their Whiskey Wednesday event, which happens monthly. Driven by a spirit brand ambassador, the event is filled with food, swag, and plenty of libations.
At their September Buffalo Trace bourbon event, I’m handed a cocktail on the way in like a water station during a marathon. Narrowly avoiding pouring the pink cocktail over my head from the day’s heat, the whiskey sour punch hits the spot so well, I’m surprised the Kool Aid guy didn’t burst through Bosscat’s patio’s brick wall, “Oh Yeah!” At my seat, I’m happy to see four of my dear old friends, Weller, Blanton’s, Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace. We hug, kiss cheeks, and saddle up for a fun evening.
For $60, the night is filled with three cocktails, four food pairings, a bourbon tasting led by the brand ambassador, and cocktail demos led by Hoover, Bosscat’s lead bartender. Kind of like bringing French fries with French bread to a French-themed party, I was happy to see the kitchen play off the Buffalo theme; serving everything from spicy-fried oysters covered in Buffalo sauce to Buffalo burgers, both of which paired nicely with the outdoor banjo-playing patio vibe.
I managed to lose every swag raffle, but the cocktails turned out to be the real winners of the evening. Each came with a fun story of how the drink came about, and my favorite of the evening, Old Kentucky Road, read like a boozy bromance novel where Hoover and Mustache Matt (Bosscat’s bar director) met while touring Kentucky distilleries. The drink has layers of refreshing orange blossom honey essence on the nose, followed by a kick of cinnamon spice. The flavor continues down the Kentucky road with Buffalo Trace’s nutmeg-forward flavors blending nicely with some floral notes, then Campari steps in with its signature bitter finish. Such a delight! I’m not sure if it’s Bosscat’s proximity to John Wayne airport or the cocktail, but this night inspired me to plan my next trip to Kentucky, where maybe, just maybe, I can find my own bromance.
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations: 4647 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach www.bosscatkitchen.com