Review: Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl BD4 Cocktail Kit

, | October 25, 2022

Editor’s Note: This product was provided to us as a review sample by Garrison Brothers. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. 

A Bourbon Brawl broke out at home with the Garrison Brothers BD4 cocktail kit, which lets you make the winning cocktail from Garrison Brothers’ 2022 “Bourbon Brawl” bartender cocktail competition.

The winning drink, the BD4 cocktail, is a twist on a Manhattan using Garrison Brothers Small Batch Bourbon, sweet vermouth, earl grey tea syrup, chocolate and cherry bark vanilla bitters, and lastly, a pinch of ground cinnamon to finish. It was created by New York bartender Albert Pero III, who was crowned winner of the 2022 Bourbon Brawl Bartender of the year for this original cocktail.

When interviewed at the event, Pero said, “This cocktail is a nod to my dad and I taking trips to Yankee Stadium when I was a kid. We’d eat chocolate and vanilla twist ice cream out of little baseball helmets together and this is a story of those flavors. The three trains that will take you from Manhattan to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx are the B, D, and 4!”

The cocktail kit is distributed by Cocktail Courier and the kit includes all the ingredients you need to make this cocktail come to life in your own home, including a large printed card with step-by-step instructions. I don’t make cocktails at home, but I did still happen to have the necessary tools: A jigger, mixing glass, bar spoon, and strainer.

With ingredients laid out, tools within reach, and a thirst needing to be quenched, directions were foolproof to follow. After five easy steps, I had a well-rounded, savory cocktail that made me wonder why I don’t make more cocktails at home. I even appreciated the pro-tip included on the card to place your serving glass into the freezer prior to making your drink to keep your glass and cocktail chilled.

Garrison Brothers BD4 Cocktail Kit review

Garrison Brothers BD4 Cocktail Kit (image via Moriah Hilden/The Whiskey Wash)

The two different types of bitters gave the cocktail multiple layers. On its own, the chocolate bitters from Scrappy’s Bitters is a mellow milk chocolate, while the cherry bark vanilla bitters from Bittercube has a vanilla aroma followed by fennel on the tongue. With the sweet vermouth and the citrus punch of the earl gray syrup, the ingredients joined forces to create an exemplary cocktail for the masses to enjoy.

Most times, I don’t fancy cinnamon, so I tried BD4 with and without the dash of cinnamon to garnish. I’m here to tell you, don’t you dare forget this spice for it turned it into a home-run cocktail. It’s clear why Albert Pero III won the competition for this delicious twist on the Manhattan, and the ease of making it right at home for friends, family, loved ones, or even just yourself is worth celebrating.

This kit in particular was the deluxe size which would yield 8-16 cocktails, while the other option is the classic size which yields 4-8 cocktails. Unfortunately, the BD4 cocktail kit is no longer available (although I wish they’d keep it around year-round) but Cocktail Courier has an immense spread of other cocktail kits for your next occasion.

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Moriah Hilden

Moriah Hilden is Vice President of Women Who Whiskey Portland Chapter and the first American to complete the Whisky Trek in Appenzell, Switzerland. Her love for whiskey was unexpected - a life changing moment in a micro bar, in the heart of Kyoto, Japan, quickly sparked her curiosity for the...