Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

Millionaire

A deep-red Millionaire cocktail in a coupe glass with a grated nutmeg garnish.
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

The Millionaire is a traditional sour that arose during Prohibition. To confuse matters (a common occurrence with classic drinks), several cocktails have claimed the Millionaire moniker over the past century. The versions can even differ wildly—one cocktail that bears the name contains Jamaican rum, sloe gin and apricot brandy, a far cry from this bourbon-based sour. However, this recipe has persevered and is the iteration you’re most likely to find today.

In addition to bourbon, the Millionaire features Grand Marnier (a French orange liqueur made with cognac), lemon juice, grenadine, absinthe and egg white. Use fresh lemon juice and homemade grenadine for the best results. The former is easy enough—just squeeze some lemons. Homemade grenadine is more complicated, but can be concocted with pomegranate, pomegranate molasses, sugar and orange flower water. Once you try it, you’ll never want to go back to the syrupy store-bought variety found at soda fountains and dive bars.

If you’re unable to find absinthe, pastis works equally well. This liqueur is made with star anise, which provides its trademark licorice flavor, while absinthe employs wormwood and green anise. And don’t forget the egg white: It adds a silky texture that brings a rich, luxurious note to the drink in keeping with the cocktail’s rich and luxurious theme.

The Millionaire may be one of many, but it has inspired some variations of its own. In case you want to take your aspirational drinking to the next level, the Billionaire cocktail from New York bar Employees Only skips the egg white and orange liqueur and calls for absinthe bitters.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • 3/4 ounce Grand Marnier

  • 1/4 ounce absinthe or pastis

  • 1/2 ounce grenadine

  • 1/2 ounce egg white

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated

Steps

  1. Add the bourbon, Grand Marnier, absinthe, grenadine, egg white and lemon juice into a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) vigorously.

  2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled

  3. Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass.

  4. Grate nutmeg over the top of the drink.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.