Recipe: Creole Cocktail (serves one)
- 1 oz. rye
- 1 oz. sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes (= 1/4 tsp.) Bénédictine
- 2 dashes (= 1/4 tsp.) Torani Amer
- lemon peel
Stir liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lemon peel.
We first had the Creole Cocktail at Bourbon and Branch on our recent trip to San Francisco; the recipe here is adapted from Savoy Stomp. Like the Manhattan, this drink is based on whiskey and vermouth. It’s also reminiscent of the Vieux Carré with its touch of sweet, herbal Bénédictine liqueur.
What makes the Creole Cocktail distinctive is its use of a bitter orange liqueur in place of the usual bitters. The original 1916 version calls for a French liqueur, Amer Picon, which unfortunately isn’t imported into the U.S. anymore. Bourbon and Branch substitutes Torani Amer. This aperitif is from the same company that makes Torani syrups for coffee shops, but unlike the syrups, it’s 78 proof and is bitter on its own. In the Creole Cocktail, it adds orange notes and balances the sweetness of the vermouth and Bénédictine.