At Hell or High Water in Louisville, Kentucky, Doug Petry crafts drinks using local purveyors like Quills Coffee and has a deft hand with rum. Take the Mutual Friend, a showcase of Plantation five-year-old rum and Galliano ristretto espresso liqueur, given a tart, bright contrast with lime and pineapple.
At first glance, a blend of rum, espresso and pineapple seems a bit chaotic. However, made with a careful hand this drink manages to create a well-balanced and complex marriage of tropical flavors. The espresso aspect comes from the Galliano ristretto—this coffee liqueur is a major departure for Galliano, which is normally associated with the classic yellow-hued, anise-flavored liquor that float atop vodka and orange juice, changing it from a Screwdriver to a Harvey Wallbanger. The ristretto taps into the inherent Italian expertise in making espresso, and—unlike many other coffee liqueurs on the market—uses multiple different kinds of coffee beans in a complex, multi-stage process. Its flavor profile is distinct enough that it’s difficult to substitute another coffee liqueur in the Mutual Friend.
Like many rum-based drink, the cocktail uses a blend of different rums, in this case Plantation Barbados five-year old and Ron Zacapa 23-year-old. The Ron Zacapa has a dedicated fan base, though it has come under criticism for both the ambiguity of its age statement, as well as allegations of undisclosed added sugar. While it’s hard to find an accurate replacement for its gentle sweetness and nuanced caramel notes, the drink only calls for half an ounce, so substituting another rum is doable. Plantation five-year-old is a fantastic rum for cocktails, reasonably priced around $35 normally and robust enough to stand up in drinks. It also drink just lovely on its own or with a bit of ice.
Petry’s recipe calls for a dry-shake to fully incorporate all the ingredients without watering the drink down. It then gets poured over pebble ice; while many bars, especially those with Tiki programs, have machines that can make pebble ice, most people making this at home are going to have to find it in stores. If that’s too much, crushed ice—like from an ice maker or crushed by hand—fills in just fine.
- 1 1/2 ounces Plantation Barbados five-year-old rum
- 1/2 ounce Ron Zacapa 23-year-old rum
- 1/2 ounce Galliano ristretto espresso liqueur
- 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1/4 ounce demerara simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water)
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Garnish: pineapple leaf
- Garnish: espresso beans
Add all the ingredients into a shaker and dry-shake (no ice).
Pour into a rocks glass filled with pebble ice.
Garnish with a pineapple leaf and 3 espresso beans.