Perfect Pairing: Cap'n Crunch Bourbon Cocktail And A Double Chocolate And Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

For those who spent their childhoods repeatedly proclaiming, “OH YEAH? WELL WHEN I’M OLDER I’M GOING TO EAT CEREAL AND ICE CREAM FOR DINNER EVERY SINGLE DAY!” This pairing is your redemption: bourbon soaked in Cap'n Crunch cereal and infused with a touch of Giffard Banane de Brasil, aka, a liqueur made from bananas + a side of ice cream sandwich = your 7-year-old dreams realized.

“I wanted to create a menu of super-simple, approachable drinks that were also fun, well-balanced and tasted amazing,” says creator of the Cap'n Crunch Bourbon Cocktail and Co-owner of Portland’s highly anticipated, soon-to-open Hey Love bar, Emily Mistell.

While attempting to explain how ridiculously (dangerously) delicious the drink was, I could come up with no better description than, "want-more-ishness” — a term coined by flavorist Pamela Low (did you know this was a job title?) who developed Cap'n Crunch in 1963 and deemed the feeling upon eating it, "want-more-ishness.” 

As for the “science” behind the pairing, it reads a little like the script from the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial (that kid’s accent tho)…

“I recently made the Cap'n Crunch Bourbon Cocktail for an event and went home with some leftovers,”  recalls Emily.

“There I was, pouring myself a glass and simultaneously eating a Ruby Jewel peanut butter ice cream sandwich, and it was the most mind-blowing pairing ever. The next day, I made my business partners and our chef try it, and they all agreed.”

Instead of any one flavor overpowering the other, each element of the ice cream highlights those same notes in the drink and vice versa, all the while working on more than just your taste-buds.

“The pairing transported me to my childhood,” says Emily, “Ice cream and Cap'n Crunch are such nostalgia flavors. I could see the house I lived in as a kid and our dog in the backyard…”

With the Hey Love venture, Emily is stepping out of her bartender and beverage director shoes and into those of an owner; but more than just opening a cool spot for people to meet and drink, she and her partners have built an inclusive space that operates very differently than the toxic workplaces of yore.

“Everything we’ve done comes from a desire to create a working environment that’s opposite of the ones we were brought up in — male-dominated workplaces with a lot of ego. We built Hey Love from a place of kindness and respect and hired a really inclusive staff so that we could have a truly diverse clientele.”

Emily pauses and smiles, then tells me her team was so intent on ensuring they were as good to themselves and their staff as possible that they consulted a medium.

“She helped us cleanse the space, got us centered and focused our energies,” Emily tells me. “In the end, whatever positive vibes are out there that we can tap into, we’re into it.”

So for all you out there seeking a hit of nostalgia, a bowl of positive vibes and some breakfast for dinner — this recipe’s for you.



Cap'n Ron

Makes 1 drink

What you need:

2 oz. Cap'n Crunch bourbon (recipe below)

1/4 tsp. Giffard Banane de Brasil

1 healthy dash Angostura bitters

1/4 oz 1:1 simple syrup*

How to prepare:

Combine all ingredients with ice in a double old fashioned glass and stir, stir, stir.

Garnish with a banana chip


Cap'n Crunch Bourbon

Makes 18-20 oz.

What you need:

1 750ml bottle bourbon (I like Buffalo Trace or Jim Beam bonded)

8 oz. Cap'n Crunch

How to prepare:

Combine and stir the Cap'n Crunch into the whiskey to incorporate.

Place a container on top after to keep the cereal submerged.

Let steep for 25 minutes

Strain through a Chinois or nut bag. If you don't have either, strain all the big pieces out through a basic strainer and then strain through a paper or gold cone coffee filter. You basically want to get all the pieces of cereal out of the bourbon so it's nice and clear. 

 

*1:1 simple syrup, equal parts white sugar to hot water, stir until sugar is completely dissolved


Ice Cream Sandwich Stats:

Emily pairs her cocktail with local Portland ice cream maker Ruby Jewel’s Double Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich — available across the West Coast. If you can’t find these insanely delicious treats in your city, support your local artisan ice cream maker and create your own pairing!

Did you make this cocktail for breakfast? Dinner? A party? Who’s your favorite local ice cream maker? Okay, now we’re thirsty/hungry…