When I was behind the bar, B & B was more tombstone than liquor bottle. One of those brands that sat in the same place collecting dust for so long that it just became part of the bar's decór. Like a prop on a stage. I don't think I ever poured it for a single customer in all my years bartending. I do remember trying to taste it one time but the cap was crusted shut so securely it'd take a hammer and chisel to open, and those were two mixology tools I didn't have on hand. I recall losing interest in the contents and returning the B & B to the graveyard shelf. The space for the forgotten spirits. The spirits of yesteryear. The spirits our grandparents drank. Oh, but it's soooo good.
I now know this because of the bottle I impulsively bought a few weeks ago. The home bar is flush but not complete. Many more graveyard bottles are needed before I'll have everything to make every drink.
The first "b" stands for brandy (French brandy to be exact), and the second "b" stands for Bénédictine, an aromatic herbal liqueur. In the beginning there was only Bénédictine, but when people started to regularly mix their French brandy with it, a prebottled cocktail was born. And when you mix a top shelf bourbon with B & B? You've got yourself a classic cocktail called the Kentucky B & B.
Please try this drink the next time you go to the bar. A) it's an awesome drink before dinner, and B) it will be fun to see if the bartender pulls the bottle from the graveyard shelf, or if she can even find it.
Our advice to the peeps behind B & B? It's time to rebrand, friends. Change up the label, the bottle design, something. We know it's what's on the inside that counts, but your label will continue to rot into oblivion unless you do something to become relevant again.
Kentucky B & B Cocktail Recipe 2 ounces bourbon 2 ounces B & B 1 fleshy lemon peel
Directions Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour in the B & B, followed by the bourbon. Stir well, garnish with the lemon peel, and serve.