The BORG cocktail with gin and bourbon variations is a surprisingly versatile cocktail precisely because it does allow for either spirit as a base. BORG is an acronym for “Bitters, Orange, Rosemary, and Gin,” because that’s precisely what comprises this drink. Yes, I know gin is not bourbon, and this site is all about bourbon. If you’ll stick with me, you’ll find a version of this below that replaces the gin with bourbon and the orange bitters with regular bitters. You’re welcome.
After I created the Vanilla and Pear Old Fashioned I started thinking about flavor combinations that would work well together. I’ve never been a big fan of gin, but I do like the idea of botanicals in alcohol. I particularly like the flavor of Aviation Gin, so I bought a bottle and started experimenting.
We have a giant rosemary bush in front of our house, so I snipped a couple sprigs from there. We also had oranges in the fruit bowl. Sooo… why not mix the three? The rosemary pairs nicely with the botanicals in the gin, and the orange gives it a sweet, fruity dimension. I liked the idea of the caramelized pear from the Vanilla and Pear Old Fashioned, so I caramelized the orange slice before I muddled it with the rosemary.
After I enjoyed a glass of this, I tried substituting the gin with Bulleit bourbon and the orange bitters with regular ol’ Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters to create a “Bourbon BORG.” Otherwise the process was the same – caramelize the orange, muddle with some rosemary, and mix with the alcohols. While I enjoyed the gin version, the bourbon version was more to my liking. I encourage you to try both and see which you prefer. Let me know what you think in the comments! Cheers!