I often kick off an event with a fun little cocktail. It’s nice to have something to sip on while participants are gathering but we don’t want to drink the wine tasting wines until we’re ready to learn about them.

Here’s one that got a great reception at a recent tasting, with both the ladies AND the guys. A lot of people who don’t like brown spirits (whiskeys) are overwhelmed by how they taste all on their own. But mixed in a great cocktail they actually can be quite smooth, with flavors of caramel, toast, and spice. This version is actually my take on a Baltimore Bang since the Red Sox were playing the Orioles the weekend that I served it.

Apricot Whiskey Sour

1 1/2 ounces Bourbon

1 1/2 ounces apricot liqueur (I use Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot)

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

dash of orange juice

dash of grenadine

dash of lemon bitters

Shake all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Top up with sparkling water and garnish with a maraschino cherry.