Newly opened in December 2016 from Top Chef alum Ryan Scott, the cocktail menu at San Francisco’s Finn Town boasts plenty of fresh juices—cucumber, ginger, etc. But fennel’s not one you see on the drink menu very often. This drink by bartender Anthony Parks lends freshness and subtle anise to a tequila-forward sipper.
Although the full recipe takes a couple of hours, this classic drink is accomplished in a crockpot, so it’s basically a set-it-and-forget-it type of recipe. Get a batch started before friends arrive, then spoon into coffee mugs.“We use an IPA as the beer base,” says Mike Bohn of New York City’s Olmsted, “which gives the drink a contrasting freshness from the hops and citrus, plus a little porter thrown in to add some coffee richness.”
If you appreciate a good Manhattan—a rye Manhattan specifically—then the Remember the Maine will most likely find a home in your drinks repertoire. The cocktail comes from Charles H. Baker, Jr’s. The Gentleman’s Companion from 1939 and is notable for its additions of cherry liqueur and a touch of absinthe.
Until recently, fassionola syrup, which was used in many old Tiki drinks including the Hurricane, was lost to the past. The Jonathan English Company bottled it in the 1950s, and modern bartenders have either created house-made versions or substituted passion fruit syrup. Recently, Cocktail & Sons’ Max Messier bottled a seasonal version of it with local New Orleans strawberries, as well as pineapples, mango, passion fruit and steeped hibiscus flower syrup. The little-known Cobra’s Fang was created at Don the Beachcomber and also uses falernum, which has seen its own resurgence in recent years.
This cocktail has a good deal in common with the Brandy Alexander and the Grasshopper with its crème de cacao and cream. Where it differs markedly is in the inclusion of crème de noyaux, a once popular but relatively forgotten liqueur that is similar to amaretto. The red color of the liqueur usually comes from cochineal, which doesn’t affect the singular herbal-meets-bitter almond flavor.
Cocktails don’t come much easier than this one, which has been around since the late 1930s. A lot of recipes suggest equal parts, but you’re better off starting with two ounces of scotch and a half ounce of Drambuie, tinkering until you find your personal ratio. No matter how you drink it, you’ll be channeling the Rat Pack in no time.