Friday, January 4, 2019


2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
1/2 oz Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a flamed orange twist (unflamed twist).

There are two neo-classics on the menu at Nahita where I work with one being the Trader Vic's 1946 El Diablo served as the Pobre Diabla in a Dark'n'Stormy presentation with the ginger beer layer on the bottom. The other is Jon Santer's Revolver that he created at Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco circa 2003; our version splits the Bourbon into equal parts Rittenhouse Bonded Rye and Old Grand-Dad 80° Bourbon, utilizes Galliano Ristretto as the coffee element, and serves the drink on the the rocks instead of up. Surprisingly, I had never had this drink despite knowing about it for quite some time. Therefore, I turned to Paul Clarke's The Cocktail Chronicles for the recipe and to the web for additional reading. The structure reminds me of Bourbon numbers like the Fancy Free from Crosby Gaige's 1941 Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion, and this Old Fashioned riff style can be seen in early drinks such as Jerry Thomas' 1862 Japanese Cocktail. With coffee to bring out the toasted and char notes in Bourbon from the barrel, this recipe was a win from the start.
The Fancy Free began with an orange and coffee bouquet that led into malt and roast notes on the sip. Next, the Bourbon danced with the dark coffee flavors on the swallow to round out the drink. With such simple elegance, its no wonder that Paul Clarke featured it in his book a few years ago (see my interview with Paul about his book for more information about his concept).

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