Bufala Negra

Jerry Slater | Athens, Georgia

cocktail illustration

Jerry Slater was working in Louisville, Kentucky, preparing for an event sponsored by Buffalo Trace, when he had a vision for what he describes as “almost like an Italian Mint Julep,” using bourbon, balsamic and basil muddled with spicy ginger ale. He’s concocted countless drinks since then, but none of them landed quite like that; the Bufala Negra has since inspired variations across the country.

Ingredients

Serving: 1

  • 1/2 ounce balsamic syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1/2 ounce balsamic syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 brown sugar cube
  • 1 brown sugar cube
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon, such as Buffalo Trace
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon, such as Buffalo Trace
  • 2 ounces ginger beer, preferably Blenheim Hot Ginger Ale
  • 2 ounces ginger beer, preferably Blenheim Hot Ginger Ale

Garnish: basil leaf

Directions
  1. Muddle balsamic syrup, basil leaves, and the sugar cube in a shaker until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add bourbon and ice, then shake.
  3. Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass with ice.
  4. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a basil leaf.
Editor's Note

Balsamic Syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Place brown sugar, water and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring continually, until the sugar dissolves, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a glass container and refrigerate, uncovered, until cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month.