Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rye Whiskey Cocktails

Trinidad Sour

A hand with red fingernails holds a Nick & Nora glass against a stone wall. The drink within is crimson and opaque.
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Some drinks look strange on paper. If you’ve ever mixed even a single Manhattan or an Old Fashioned, you’re familiar with the dark, potent powers of Angostura bitters. Most cocktails that call for the ingredient take only a dash or two to add some complexity and bolster flavors, essentially like finishing a dish with salt and pepper. Using an entire ounce and a half of the highly aromatic bitters as the base of the cocktail is almost unheard of. But that’s what’s called for in the Trinidad Sour, an unusual-yet-delicious drink from Las Vegas bartender Giuseppe Gonzalez.

Angostura bitters clock in around 45% alcohol, so using it as the base of the cocktail is similar to using a whiskey or rum in terms of alcohol level and potency. The big difference is the intense, bold botanicals of the bitters, the exact recipe of which is a closely guarded secret. There’s not really a comparable spirit; while some of the more botanical-heavy, bittersweet amari would be closest, they usually lack the high proof and the intensity. You could try using Fernet-Branca, but in a way, doing so defeats the purpose of the Trinidad Sour.

The bitters are bolstered with a half-ounce of rye whiskey to lend some additional spice and structure—whichever rye you prefer for your Manhattan or Sazerac will fit here nicely. For sweetness, the drink gets an ounce of orgeat rather than the more familiar simple syrup. This nut-based syrup can sometimes be hard to find on store shelves, but brands like BG Reynolds, Liber & Co. and even Torani sell bottles of it online. If you want, you can always have a go at making your own orgeat.

Along with the orgeat, lemon juice helps balance the herbal intensity of the bitters. All together it makes the Trinidad Sour a rich delight that carries through to the last sip.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Angostura bitters

  • 1/2 ounce rye whiskey

  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 ounce orgeat

  • Garnish: lemon twist

Steps

  1. Add the Angostura bitters, rye whiskey, lemon juice and orgeat into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Double-strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.

  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.