How To Create The Ultimate Whiskey Tasting Menu With Rebel Bourbon

How To Create The Ultimate Whiskey Tasting Menu With Rebel Bourbon

For Father's Day, NIO Cocktails is going on a journey from Ireland to Scotland and across the Atlantic to Kentucky, to explore the whiskies we're proud to have in our bar. Today we’re unboxing our newest limited edition box, in partnership with Rebel Kentucky Bourbon.

Thinking of the perfect gift this Father’s Day? Browse all our Limited Edition boxes in our Father’s Day Gift Guide.

A favourite among mischief makers and rockstars since 1849, Rebel Bourbon has always been made by - and for - curiosity seekers. Suffice to say its legacy as Mick Jagger’s dram of choice (not to mention the impressive collection of awards under its belt) inspired our Master Mixologist and resident maverick, Patrick Pistolesi. Joined by Michele Reina, the Global Brand Ambassador for Rebel Bourbon, the two of them teamed up with Rebel to craft four exclusive cocktails for NIO Cocktails, each harnessing the spirit of curiosity and creativity that Rebel prides itself on.

A rebel is not the person with the bad reputation: to me, it's a person who wants to read and discover the world. Staying curious, having spirit and a desire to change the world - that’s what makes you a rebel. - Michele Reina

To celebrate our latest addition to the bar, and in Rebel’s spirit of adventure, we’ve put together a few tasting menu suggestions for a thoroughly decadent dinner party. Come with us as we take a first look at the unique flavours inside our brand new Rebel Whiskey Box, together with some of our favourite culinary pairings to add a suitably adventurous flair to your special occasion. 

Pioneer cocktail: 

This is not your usual aperitif. In this cocktail, Patrick and Michele chose Rebel Rye Whiskey over Rebel Kentucky Bourbon to give it a spicy edge. Rebel Rye Whiskey, with cracked black pepper on the nose and deep burnt toffee on the palette, brings a curious new dimension to your classic pre-dinner cocktail alongside the drier, slightly minty notes of Strega liqueur. For a twist on your typical pre-dinner nibbles, layer serrano ham and thin slices of burrata on freshly toasted rye sourdough, and drizzle generously with your best olive oil to finish. 

serrano ham rye sourdough bread

Tenacious cocktail:

Starting like a tannic, dry sherry, before giving way to richer flavours like plum, dark chocolate and banana, Tenacious is a sumptuous cocktail that leans a little sweeter than Pioneer while retaining a hint of that peppery spice. As this cocktail was inspired by a love affair with Asian flavours, it would be rather fitting to pair Tenacious with something aromatic and spicy, yet umami - think Korean BBQ with plenty of ginger and aromatics to balance the rich Oloroso sherry flavours in this cocktail. Alternatively, a cheeseboard stacked with mature cheeses such as comté or gruyère would make an excellent match.

Korean BBQ grill asian food

Explorer cocktail: 

“The passion of a couple in love, embodied in a cocktail” - that’s how Michele describes The Explorer. The flavour notes are nothing short of amorous: ripe cherries, subtly spiced red vermouth, a tangy undercurrent of balsamic - all complementing Rebel’s sweeter side. Something suitably romantic like baked figs and a ripe, creamy blue cheese would pair beautifully with the explorer, if you’re craving something a little savoury. Otherwise, to fully embrace Rebel’s soft brown sugar flavours, indulge in a vanilla pannacotta with a tart red berry compote.

vanilla panna cotta red berry coulis dessert

Espression cocktail: 

Toasted almonds, freshly brewed espresso, cinder toffee and a lingering wisp of smoke - what better way to draw the evening to a close around the dinner table? The Espression is a truly grown-up version of the Espresso Martini, expertly combined with the moreish flavours of chewy almonds, rich red vermouth and - naturally - the sumptuous sweetness of Rebel Bourbon. Savour alongside almond brittle or Italian florentines, and a little candied orange peel, for an elegant ending to the evening. Unless, of course, the night is only just beginning.

almond florentines orange chocolate biscuits

  • If you love bourbon but lean towards the classics, you’ll enjoy our Whiskey Box
  • If you also enjoy unconventional flavours, you may like our Limited Edition Teeling Whiskey Box
  • If you prefer sweeter cocktails with a lighter flavour profile, you might enjoy our Cosmopolitan or our Garden of Russia