With the massive wave of honey whiskeys hitting the market over the last year, you might think Wild Turkey is yet another brand joining the fray. The truth, however, is that while the recently revamped bottle and formula gives the impression that this is a new product, Wild Turkey’s legendary Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell, has been making honey liqueur for nearly four decades and American Honey became the first nationally distributed honey bourbon back in 2007.
Wild Turkey Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell
Flavored spirits aren’t always my thing, but at 71-proof, the revamped formula is fairly high-octane and is made using one of my favorite bourbons, Wild Turkey 101, which has a reputation of putting hair on the chests of many a bro. Some call it harsh; others call it the way bourbon should be, but the spicy kick has become notorious of Wild Turkey.
Designed to be a smooth spirit that can be used as a mixer or sipped chilled from a shot glass, American Honey manages to maintain some of the kick you’d expect from Wild Turkey. When sipping it chilled, expect a nose of honey (derrr) as well as caramel and bourbon. Upon tasting the spirit, you might first be overwhelmed by the syrupy mouthful of sweetness, but soon after, some of the spice will begin to cut through the honey and you’ll pick up on some citrus, caramel and bourbon. The finish isn’t necessarily as refined as you'd expect from spirit labeled as smooth, but if you're into the sweet stuff, you'll enjoy shooting a few of these while maintaining your manhood.
If you’re not big on drinking sweet spirits straight, like me, don’t count it out because it’s absolutely aces in cocktails. A couple to try for the 4th of July:
American Honey Mule
- 2 oz of American Honey
- Lime juice
- Ginger Beer
- 1 sprig of mint (optional)
- Fresh slice of lime
- 3 oz. American Honey
- 6 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 sprig rosemary
Combine American Honey, lemon juice and bitters in a tumbler with ice and stir. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.