Watching episodes of Justified from season one now can be tough. It’s not that they aren’t good — in fact, some, like “Long in the Tooth,” are quite excellent — but, well, Justified wasn’t sure what kind of show it wanted to be yet, so we’re left with Boyd wearing glorified muscle tanks (shades of Jeff Winger donning this monstrosity in the Community pilot) and a show that didn’t know how “cool” it would become. Now, three years later, with season four premiering on FX tonight (!!!!!!!!!!!), Justified just might be the coolest show on TV, and just like your middle school guidance always told you: all the cool kids are drinking.
Justified without alcohol is no Justified at all. Everything I know about Kentucky, and the south in general, I learned from guinea pig-owner Raylan, Boyd, Ava, & Co., and I’m fairly certain it’s 100% accurate. (“People hide money in pig bellies, got it.”) So, in honor of tonight’s episode, I took a look back, with help from the great It’s Justified, at some of Justified‘s most important alcohol-infused scenes to figure out which character drinks what and to pass along some recipes (though DRINK THEM STRAIGHT). Be your very own #teambartender.
Let’s begin with Mags’ famous apple pie moonshine, recipe courtesy of Moonshine Heritage:
1 gallon apple cider
1 gallon apple juice
3 cups white sugar
8 cinnamon sticks
1 liter bottle of 190 proof moonshine or grain alcohol (Via)
This one’s horrific, but if you feel like honoring the late Emmitt Arnett and want a little disgusting kick to your caffeine, put some Pappy Van Winkle in your coffee. But please don’t, because ew.
The dignified Art has a refined fondness for Blanton’s. To quote the man himself, “No, that’s enough. I’m the chief, this is my office, it’s my informant, and it’s my call. And that’s my bottle. And I’m not gonna let you drink it all just because your daddy didn’t hug you much when you were little.” I’ve had success with this concoction:
1.5 oz Blanton’s Kentucky Whiskey
.5 oz Grand Marnier
1 tsp cinnamon bitters
Splash of Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring Water
To make cinnamon bitters
Place three sticks cinnamon in a small mason jar and cover with light rum. Allow to sit for two weeks.
In a shaker with ice, combine the above ingredients and shake. Pour over ice or into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a fresh kumquat. (Via)
Like any good “white trash” family, the Crowders favor Jim Beam and Wild Turkey. Here’s a good cold weather recipe that calls for Mr. Beam called “The Broken Leg.” (I couldn’t find “Paralyzed from the Waist Down.”)
1 1/2 parts Jim Beam® Bourbon
4 1/2 hot apple juice/cider
Combine ingredients in a large mug. Garnish with lemon wedge and cinnamon stick. (Via)
Or if you wanna get your carpetbagger on, a Manhattan:
1 3/4 ounces Wild Turkey Bourbon
1/3 ounce dry vermouth
1/3 ounce sweet vermouth
1 thin slice fresh ginger
3 mint leaves
1/2 tsp powdered sugar
Dash aromatic bitters
Muddle ginger, mint, powdered sugar and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add Wild Turkey Bourbon, vermouth and ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. (Via)
That’s a little something for the non-alcohol drinkers.
And lastly, there’s Lindsay, who, when Ava drops by to visit Raylan, offers her, “Elmer T. Lee single barrel, water back.” How come? “Friends of the deputy get top shelf.” This one doesn’t need instructions, just a shot glass.
#teambartender, indeed. Add your own in the comments.