Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

C&B Old Fashioned

red-hued C&B Old Fashioned cocktail in a textured rocks glass, garnished with an orange peel
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Gin is a classic cocktail ingredient employed in everything from stirred, potent drinks like the Martini to refreshing, shaken drinks like the Gimlet. But this botanical, juniper-laced spirit isn’t just for old-school drinks; it’s also a favorite of today’s bartenders, who enlist the flavorful liquor in countless modern recipes.

Part of gin’s draw is that its powerful profile stands up tall in cocktails, but it also plays well with other ingredients, from liqueurs and fortified wines to fresh citrus. You can see its versatility on full display in the C&B Old Fashioned, an original recipe from New York bartending veteran and distiller Allen Katz.

The C&B Old Fashioned is named for its use of Campari and Benedictine, but the drink also calls for Lillet Blanc and Cointreau in addition to the gin. If you’re counting, that’s one spirit, three liqueurs, and a wine-based aperitif. The ingredients are stirred with ice, strained, topped with club soda and garnished with an orange twist.

Campari is a bitter Italian liqueur that is bright-red and made from a proprietary blend of herbs and spices, with dominant notes of bitter orange. Benedictine is a French liqueur made from a secret blend of 27 herbs and spices, including saffron, cinnamon and juniper, and has a sweet, herbal profile. Lillet Blanc is a light, wine-based aperitif, and Cointreau is an 80-proof orange liqueur famous for its use in the Margarita.

This recipe includes a lot of strong flavors, but each bottle is used deftly to achieve harmony, and the club soda topper lends some dilution and bubbles for additional balance and mouthfeel. The C&B Old Fashioned isn’t the typical whiskey Old Fashioned you’re probably used to; besides the name, it doesn’t have much in common with the classic. But put these ingredients together in a glass, and you’ll create a fun, complex cocktail that’s worth making for yourself and sharing with guests.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin

  • 3/4 ounce Campari

  • 3/4 ounce Lillet Blanc

  • 1/4 ounce Benedictine

  • 1/4 ounce Cointreau

  • Club soda, chilled, to top

  • Garnish: orange twist

Steps

  1. Add the gin, Campari, Lillet Blanc, Benedictine and Cointreau into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

  3. Top with the club soda and stir briefly and gently to combine.

  4. Garnish with an orange twist.