The Brown Bomber Cocktail Recipe

The Brown Bomber Cocktail

Happy National Cocktail Day!

Coincidentally this Thirsty Thursday happened to land on National Cocktail Day. To celebrate I whipped up a Brown Bomber, I pulled the recipe by master cocktailian Jim Meehan from the PDT Cocktail Book. It generally calls for Tennessee whiskey, but I subbed in Koval Single Barrel Boubon as I had none on hand.. Meehan says of his creation:

“I substituted Tennessee whiskey for gin in the recipe for the White Negroni and named it after Joe Louis, nicknamed the Brown Bomber of Detroit.”

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2oz Tennessee Whiskey
  • .75oz Lillet Blanc
  • .5oz Suze
  • Lemon Twist for Garnish

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, garnish with the twist.

Despite having only three ingredients, this is a deceptively complex cocktail.The Lillet, a classic fortified wine, and the Koval bourbon naturally go well together but the Suze throws an interesting curve ball. If you’re unfamiliar with Suze it’s a gentian based bitter aperitif [and a really captivating yellow colour] and very bitter, a little bit goes a long way.

The resulting drink hits you with a splash of sweetness from the Lillet up front followed by the warmth of the whiskey; but as the the drink makes its way to the back of your tongue the bitterness of the Suze begins to shine. Surprisingly the lemon zest plays a strong role in the finish and keeps the bitterness from overpowering the drink.  This is not what most would consider a refreshing cocktail, but it’s a delicious palate cleanser to start or end a meal. If sweet is your thing… I would look elsewhere.

Happy National Cocktail Day y’all.


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