Bourbon & Apricot Champagne Cocktail (Gansey’s Pig)

ganseyspigI happen to run a very large book club for adults who like young adult books. This also happens to be a chapter of the Forever Young Adult book club. Earlier this summer, clubs participating in the running of the gauntlet called “the YA Summer Showdown” were asked to create a YA-themed cocktail and submit it anonymously for other clubs to make and rate. I pretty much jumped up and down and begged for my club to let me do it…for I had a vision.

I created this cocktail with my mother’s delectable homegrown apricots, which were just peaking at the time of the challenge, St. Germain, bourbon, and champagne. One friend of mine, having tried it for the first time at the party, proclaimed it a “$12 cocktail,” and my heart grew three sizes that night.

Then it actually won the vote, and my head grew seventeen sizes. It’s a problem. I like to fit through doors.

The reason it’s called “Gansey’s Pig” is that it is named after a character’s bright orange, 1973 (?) Camaro. (I made the cocktail before I named it, thinking quality over cuteness was key here. I thought about naming it The Eleanor, after Eleanor & Park, but it didn’t fit with Eleanor’s hardscrabble life.)

The author, Maggie Stiefvater, makes the Pig break down in a book every time her real life vintage Camaro breaks down. (If you haven’t read any of Maggie Stiefvater’s books, especially The Raven Boys series, please make one of these cocktails, sit down, and start reading at once. She is hands-down one of my favorite authors, YA or adult. No one creates a sense of atmosphere and magic like Stiefvater does.)

But most importantly, the cocktail, when properly made, is delicious. Here it is in all its YA-themed glory; even if you haven’t read the books you should get the idea.

Gansey’s Pig
Inspired by Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series

Fancy enough not to embarrass your rich parents, powerful enough to knock a reckless teenage boy on his butt. It fizzes and sputters, but best of all, it’s very, very orange.

  • 2 oz very ripe apricots (pitted)
  • 1 short sprig rosemary, leaves stripped
  • ¼ oz honey
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz bourbon
  • ¾ oz St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)
  • Brut champagne/sparkling wine to top

In a cocktail shaker of your choice (but you’d probably prefer a lidded Mason jar, given this is the South), muddle the apricots and rosemary leaves with the honey as thoroughly as Adam would like to grind his father’s face into the ground – which is to say, extremely thoroughly.

Add the lemon, St. Germain, bourbon, and ice. Shake it harder than Ronan would like to shake Kavinsky, for at least 30 seconds. Strain into large champagne flute over a fine mesh sieve; then sloooooowly (the way Blue wants to take it with her first suitor) top with champagne. (It helps to give it the barest stir after the first bit of champagne to distribute the tart and sweet elements and keep it from foaming over. After serving, you or your guest should stir again.) It should create a layered effect.

Wait for AAA and your designated driver.


Add one more ounce of muddled apricots. Replace all alcohol with club soda.

Alternatively, replace alcohol and lemon juice with Belvoir elderflower presse lemonade, available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and other specialty grocery stores.




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