The Black Demure comes from Franky Marshall, a New York City bartender and certified cognac educator who has worked at bars including Clover Club and the Dead Rabbit. In this lush and sweet whiskey drink, peppery bourbon balances the fruitiness of blackberry and orange liqueurs to create a pleasing and robust cocktail.
At first glance, this whiskey drink bears a close resemblance to the Bramble, a gin-based cocktail from the 1980s that quickly became an all-time classic. The most notable similarity is the inclusion of creme de mure—this blackberry liqueur can be difficult to find but is a delicious and versatile product to include in your home bar. It also goes into the Tiki drink the Rum Runner, so if you pick up a bottle for the Black Demure, you’ve got options for other recipes.
Like the Bramble, the Black Demure features lemon juice and simple syrup, but also includes a small volume of Cointreau. Considering that it only calls for a quarter-ounce, you could get away with using another orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier or Combier.
But the biggest difference between the two drinks is the choice of base spirits. In Marshall’s creation, bourbon takes center stage. Specifically, she calls for Wild Turkey 81-proof bourbon, which has the benefit of availability as you can walk into just about any liquor store and find a bottle of it. But feel free to mix and match with your own favorites. Want more heft to bolster the drink? Try a bottle in the 100-proof category (even Wild Turkey 101). Looking for extra spice to balance the sweetness of the liqueurs? Try using a high-rye bourbon like Redemption or Jim Beam.
However you end up tweaking (or not tweaking) the recipe, the Black Demure is anything but demure, and may end up being your new favorite version of a Whiskey Sour.
- 2 ounces Wild Turkey 81-proof bourbon
- 1/4 ounce Massenez creme de mure
- 1/4 ounce Cointreau
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- Garnish: blackberry
- Garnish: orange wheel
Add the bourbon, creme de mure, Cointreau, lemon juice and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a blackberry and an orange wheel.