Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Whiskey Cocktails

John the Baptist

green-colored John the Baptist cocktail in a Collins glass, served over ice and dusted with fresh nutmeg
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Rum is often used in Tiki drinks, but there’s more than one way to Tiki. Over the decades, bartenders have experimented with other spirits when crafting tropical drinks, including gin and whiskey, a practice that you can still see today. John the Baptist is a prime example: It’s a fresh and complex cocktail that positions Irish whiskey alongside a slew of unexpected ingredients, including pineapple, pistachio, apricot and cream.

The cocktail was created by Long Thai, a talented barkeep who’s worked at fine NYC establishments like The Dead Rabbit. He begins with Green Spot Irish whiskey, which is composed of pot still whiskeys aged between seven and 10 years. In addition to off-the-shelf ingredients, like creme de cacao, absinthe and half-and-half, he also concocts two of this own: a pistachio syrup that’s essentially orgeat and a Coco Lopez-matcha green tea powder mix that combines cream of coconut with matcha green tea. The result is complex, flavorful and bright-green.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Green Spot Irish whiskey

  • 1/2 ounce apricot eau-de-vie

  • 1/2 ounce creme de cacao

  • 2 dashes Pernod absinthe

  • 1/2 ounce pineapple juice

  • 1/2 ounce pistachio syrup*

  • 1/4 ounce half-and-half

  • 1 teaspoon Coco Lopez-matcha green tea powder mix**

  • Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated

  • Garnish: mint sprig (optional)

Steps

  1. Add the Irish whiskey, apricot eau-de-vie, creme de cacao, absinthe, pineapple juice, pistachio syrup, half-and-half and Coco Lopez-matcha green tea powder mix into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a Tiki mug or Collins glass over fresh ice.

  3. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and an optional mint sprig.

*Pistachio syrup: Add 9 ounces raw pistachios, shelled, to a nonreactive container, fill with water until nuts are covered, and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Strain off the water and keep the pistachios. Add the pistachios to a blender and slowly add 2.5 cups of hot water to the blender, pulsing until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Pour the mixture into a nonreactive container and let steep for 2 hours. Strain the mixture using a chinois; squeeze out as much liquid as possible, retaining the liquid pistachio mix and discarding the solids. Add the pistachio milk to a saucepan over medium heat, along with 2 cups of granulated white sugar for every 1.5 cups of pistachio milk for a 4:3 ratio. Heat, but do not boil, the mixture, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add 1/4 ounce orange flower water and 1/4 ounce Everclear. Will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

**Coco Lopez matcha green tea powder mix: Add 1 8.5-ounce can of Coco Lopez cream of coconut and 1 Tbsp matcha green tea powder into a blender and mix until smooth and well-combined.