New Favorite Cocktail


Quick tip:
When someone invites you to dinner, maybe even Thanksgiving dinner, instead of offering to bring the wine, volunteer to bring a specialty cocktail. Preferably a cocktail that forces you out of your Manhattan-and-Gin-and-Tonic cocktail rut. If it’s this time of year, the cold time of year, preferably one that is brown. Preferably one that requires you to hunt down and learn about an ingredient you’ve never heard of, like Suze, but not one that requires you to purchase expensive bottles that are lovely and aromatic but that you’ll likely never use again. (And about that expensive bottle, preferably one that isn’t carried at your local liquor store, but one that the owner of that liquor store happens to have in the trunk of his car, and hands over to you for free! True story!) Preferably one that does not require a lot of fanfare to prepare. Preferably one that looks beautiful served in your host’s grandmother’s vintage coupes. Preferably….

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…this one. I discovered the recipe by reading and ogling my way though Jim Meehan’s comprehensive, classy new Meehan’s Bartender Manual. Now that I’m equipped to make them, I plan on doing so all season long. It’s warming, like a Manhattan, but slightly sweet and floral, perfect for a cozy winter night with friends. But maybe be warned before you offer one to your blowhard uncle during Thanksgiving cocktail hour: It was given Joe Louis’ nickname, “The Brown Bomber,” (not the most politically correct nickname, I should add) due to its considerable, iconic strength. This drink is not for the faint of heart or for those who tend to shout their opinions as opposed to share them. I think you know what I’m saying. Happy weekend, everyone. Cheers.
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The Bomber
Note from Meehan: This will mix nicely with most Kentucky straight bourbon whiskeys in place of Dickel. Stick with Lillet, as Cocchi Americano rarely works well in its place, and Kina L’éro d’Or is too sweet here. Avèze Gentiane can be substituted for Suze if need be.
2 oz. George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee whiskey
0.75 oz. Lillet blanc
0.5 oz. Suze
Saveur D’Autrefois
Garnish: 1 lemon twist
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Stir with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Reprinted with permission from Meehan’s Bartender Manual, by Jim Meehan, copyright © 2017 by Mixography Inc. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Doron Gild.

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10 Comments

Laurie Mobley

This looks great! I also cannot wait for your gift guide hopefully with lots of book picks!

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Sara

Not sure if you meant to post D*ck or Dickel but I approve! Just wanted to mention; it gave me a laugh. Cheers!

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Julie

Love the vintage coupes; I have a similar pair I found at an estate sale. Something about drinking out of a glass like that changes the entire experience.

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Rebecca Joseph

As a brown person, I cannot imagine going somewhere bringing along a cocktail called a brown bomber. I do not even want to imagine the number of possibly well meaning but ultimately racist jokes that will be made.

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Sahana Murthy

That is a *ridiculous*, horribly offensive, VERY racist name for a drink (or anything beyond a drink, really). Not sure how or why you were comfortable posting this entry and advertising the name so much. You got the cocktail recipe from a book so I guess you tried to keep it consistent and continue calling it that? The right thing to have done would have been to briefly mention what the cocktail was called but then refer to it by some other name. As someone who has such a large public presence, it’d be great if you could handle the situation in a politically correct fashion, change this, and be on the right side of social change.

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Jenny

Sahana – I apologize. When I was reading about the drink and the provenance of it’s name, I was like “Wow, can you freaking imagine giving the world heavyweight champion, or any iconic sports hero a nickname like that today?” before writing it off in my head as something that happened a loooong time ago. I can’t give Joe Louis a new, less-racist nickname 80 years later, but I don’t have to perpetuate it in the form of a cocktail. I’ve edited the text to reflect this and sincerely apologize for anyone else I’ve offended.

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Awads

OK, but we can still call bourbon a “brown” liquor, right? Because that’s what it is. This drink requires too many new bottles for my bar, and i am overloaded as it is. Maybe i’ll get lucky and someone else will make this for me? Happy Thanksgiving, Jenny!

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Julie

I can’t wait to make this drink! Our current favorite fall-ish drink is The Down Easter from Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails. It’s made with apple cider syrup, bourbon, and citrus. As much as we love the Down Easter (and drinking them from my grandparents’ green crystal coupes), it will be great to have a drink that will carry us through the winter and even better that we can still use our awesome green glasses!

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