The Auburn Infusion from Costco

Ah, what the hell…

Photo by Author

If you want to know more, read on. If you’re just here for a recipe, here it is. Mix away, and Cheers.

The Recipe

  • 2 oz. clove-infused Canadian whisky
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 splash of fresh orange juice
  • Garnish with a sugared rim, orange slice, or a whole clove

Shake over ice and pour into a sugar-rimmed glass.

This recipe comes directly to us from the Costco Connection magazine in an article written by Curtis Adamson. It’s credited to “Matthew Price-Huntington, owner of Public House 124 in Walla Walla, Washington”

Well, Matthew Price-Huntington and Costco, let’s see what you got.

The Experience

The Auburn Infusion is firmly in the “friend zone” of your drinks menu. It’s not the wild ride promised by the bad-boy Martini, or the sexy shake that comes with a Mojito. It’s for when you just need a drink to hang out with that isn’t going to try to get you to take your clothes off. It’s sweet enough to be endearing, spicy enough to be interesting, strong enough to hold its own in a bar fight, and confident enough to know it’s never going to be your “go-to”.

I would label this as a sipping drink. You want to be relaxed or on your way to relaxing and maybe sharing some (virtual) company with a friend. This drink feels like you’ve completed some necessary, but not terribly difficult chore. Something like folding laundry, buying milk at the corner store, or applauding the three articles you read today on Medium (ahem…).

The drink is visually impressive with nice light color and enough sugar that it sticks a little to the side of the glass (what the wine snobs call “legs”). I recommend a small slice of orange stuck somewhere in the glass for added color and texture. Show it off to your friends to prove that you have talent, but don’t expect it to be what you’re serving every weekend.

And most importantly, it tastes good. It’s a well-balanced drink with some subtle spice that isn’t overpowered by the lighter Canadian Whiskey. There is enough sweetness to counteract the citrus and it all just works well together.

The History

There isn’t a lot of history to draw on when you’re drinking this one. It seems to have been pulled out of thin air somewhere in Walla Walla, Washington to be plunked down into the Costco magazine. If you want something with more lineage, go make a Jack Rose.

The Infusion

It takes a little prep work to make the Auburn Infusion. You want to infuse some Canadian Whisky with cloves. I used an 8 oz. jar and put 2 cloves in it for about two days. That will make you 4 drinks. The Costco magazine doesn’t specify amounts for the infusion but does say to leave it for at least 24 hours.

I experimented by using Canadian Whisky without the clove, or by adding a clove at the end, and I recommend doing the infusion. It makes just enough difference that you notice when it’s not there. 24 hours is probably enough.

The Options

The article says with or without ice, but I prefer it with ice. It softens the drink out a bit as it melts and I like the drink better cold.

Clove as a garnish seems like too much for me. I like a small orange slice and leave the clove in the infusion.

Costco Connection also recommends Kirkland brand Canadian Whisky (of course). I enjoy many of the Kirkland brand spirits, but I already had a bottle of another brand so I used that. Canadian Whisky is generally lighter than the American counterpart, so I think it blends well with the cloves.

Of course, these are one man’s opinions and sanctioned only by me and those who drink at my home bar. But hey, I get that magazine every month, so I figured what the hell…

Loves writing, loves teaching, and loves his 7-year-old daughter. All of which are potential topics of hopefully entertaining posts.

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