Bourbon and Blood Cocktail

Gian Saetti's Bourbon and Blood Cocktail

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  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

Are you ready for a fresh, new twist on the classic Manhattan? It is the perfect cocktail for inspiration and the Bourbon and Blood is yet another perfect example of where we can take the simplest of drinks.

This recipe, printed with permission, was created by Gian Saetti, a bartender at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua's Alaloa Lounge in Maui. It is an elegant cocktail and one worthy of special note. In reality, as Saetti pointed out, his Bourbon and Blood is more like the classic Boulevardier than the Manhattan.

A Bourbon and Blood retains that apéritif profile found in the Boulevardier, though it switches from bitter Campari to sweet Solerno. This blood orange base works wonders with Woodford Reserve and sweet vermouth and the orange bitters are a perfect accent to the entire mix.

The surprise ingredient here is fresh tarragon. The herb really sets the drink apart from similar whiskey Manhattans and complements the orange undertones with perfection.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.

  2. Shake briskly 15 times.

  3. Garnish with the zest of a fresh orange swath before lightly placing it into the cocktail. 

Tips

  • Saetti is very specific in the brands used in his recipe—it wouldn't be a bad idea to follow his recommendations exactly. Carpano Antica is one of the best bottles of "red" vermouth (more commonly called sweet vermouth) you will find. Also, there is not a good, premium-quality alternative yet when it comes to blood orange liqueur, so keep the Solerno. None of the other orange liqueur options on the market will produce the same effect. While this produced a perfectly balanced cocktail, there is always room for experimentation.
  • If you like, you can muddle the tarragon before adding the other ingredients, but it's not necessary in this case because the shake adds just enough tarragon to the mix to make it noticeable without being overpowering.

How Strong Is a Bourbon and Blood?

Assuming that the drink is mixed with the suggested brands, this cocktail is approximately 27.7 percent ABV (55.4 proof). That makes for a strong drink, so you would be wise to limit these to only one or two in an evening.