As charming as its owner, Alba Huerta, Houston bar Julep is something to see. Oysters, lobster rolls, and platters of pimiento cheese come cruising out of the kitchen alongside simply knockout cocktails, for which Alba—a member of our 2020 Chefs’ Collective—is known far and wide. Her bar book, eponymously titled Julep, shares her modern and effortlessly elegant interpretations of southern cocktail classics in addition to an inspired collection of entirely unique cocktails emblematic of the creative simplicity and contemporary-classic mix she injects into her craft.
We couldn’t be more excited to announce Alba’s series of virtual cocktail classes with us this fall. From seasonally-inspired libations to southern cocktail classics, Alba will give us all plenty to toast to this season. Classes run the gamut from the classic (Manhattans!) to the nouveau (Oaxacan Old Fashioneds!) Here’s what to get excited about:
Día De Los Muertos Cocktails, Thursday, October 29th: Margaritas with Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic, Oaxacan Old Fashioned and Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate
Classic Cocktails: Boozy, Up, and Stirred, Wednesday, November 4th: Manhattans, Martinis, and Old Fashioneds.
Thanksgiving Cocktails. Wednesday, November 18th: Spiced Apple Punch, Whiskey Sours, and a Sherry Cobbler Cocktail.
Better with Bubbles: Spritzes + Champagne Cocktails. Wednesday, December 9th. Aperol Spritzes, Champagne Juleps, and Gin & Tonic
All classes are at 4:30pm PST/6:30pm CST/7:30pm EST. Get your tickets!
Alba’s recipe for the Stone Fence Sour (below) is a delicious example of her fresh interpretations of cocktail classics. Her wonderful preface to the recipe, like so many of those she shares in Julep, recounts the storied history and etymology of each drink as well as how she has made it her own.
Stone Fence Sour
It is said that Ethan Allen and his gang of Green Mountain Boys first concocted the Stone Fence, a hard cider–and-rum libation, the night before they joined forces with Benedict Arnold and his men to seize Fort Ticonderoga from the British in 1775. The many tons of cannon taken from this critical throughway on the southern end of Lake Champlain were painstakingly transported to Boston, where they had a lot to do with persuading the British to evacuate the city.
What’s always caught my attention about this anecdote is that the name Stone Fence—a drink a bunch of rowdy colonials used for liquid courage—reminds me of something else entirely. When I first began bartending back in 2000, one of the more popular drinks was a Stone Sour, made from a base (whiskey, vodka, amaretto, or whatever the guest chose), powdered sweet-and-sour mix, and orange juice from a bottle. At the first bar I worked, I must have served hundreds of Amaretto Stone Sours every weekend.
So here’s the Stone Fence Sour, offering hints of both the Stone Sour and the Stone Fence: dry apple notes, a whiskey backbone, and a balanced sweet-and-sour element. It’s strong enough to give you courage no matter what you’re planning for tomorrow.
Barware 13.25-ounce glass + straw
Serving ice Crushed
- 1 1⁄2 ounces 80-proof bourbon
- 1 1⁄2 ounces hard cider, preferably Foggy Ridge
- 1⁄2 ounce orgeat
- 1⁄2 ounce Simple Syrup (page 193)
- 1⁄2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1⁄2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 apple slices
- Whole nutmeg
Pour the bourbon, hard cider, orgeat, syrup, lime juice, and orange juice into the glass. Stir with a barspoon to blend. Fill the glass halfway with crushed ice and stir a few times. Fill the glass entirely with crushed ice. Place the straw in the glass. To garnish, thread the apple slices on a cocktail pick and place on the rim of the glass. Add a few grates of nutmeg.
Reprinted with permission from Julep by Alba Huerta, copyright © 2018. Photography by Julie Soefer. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.