The Cable Car Cocktail

Cable Car Cocktail
Robert Benson/Aurora/Getty Images
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
236 Calories
0g Fat
25g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 236
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 36mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Cable Car is an excellent rum sour. The cocktail was created by Tony Abou-Ganim, the Modern Mixologist, and is considered by many to be a modern classic. It is certainly a drink that bartenders should know. The drink's name was inspired by the cable car tracks near the Starlight Room in San Fransisco where Abou-Ganim first created the cocktail.

This is a very simple cocktail recipe and requires just three ingredients. It is also one of the fanciest drinks you will find to feature Captain Morgan, which will make fans of the famous spiced rum very happy.

The Cable Car is a sour drink and you will notice that this recipe uses equal parts spiced rum and lemon sour. The two offset each other and the sour mix includes simple syrup. Between that and the curacao (Marie Brizard is recommended), there is a nice sweetness to bring the drink into perfect balance. It is quite interesting how all of these elements contrast and complement at the same time.

This is a rum cocktail that can work for any occasion. It can warm you up on a chilly evening after work or cool you down after a hot day in the sun. It is a perfect drink and I recommend following his recipe exactly to get a real taste of his intentions.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rim a chilled cocktail glass with sugar.

  3. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the spiced rum, orange curaçao, and lemon sour.

  4. Shake well.

  5. Strain into the prepared glass.

  6. Garnish with an orange peel spiral. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Courtesy: Tony Abou-Ganim

The Sugar Rim

It is important to use superfine sugar when rimming a glass. That granulated sugar you use every day in the kitchen does not stick as well because the crystals are larger.


All you need is a food processor to transform granulated sugar into superfine sugar!

Abou-Ganim makes a brief reference to cinnamon-sugar on his website. It is a nice addition that is very enjoyable. To add this special touch, simply mix ground cinnamon with your sugar before applying it to the rim.

How to Make Fresh Lemon Sour

Abou-Ganim's recipe calls for a fresh lemon sour. It is very easy to make and focuses on lemon rather than the lemon-lime combination used in the standard sour mix.

While the average sour mix will work, this lemon sour is strongly preferred for a Cable Car.

Combine the ingredients into a container with a tight seal and shake well.

Sour Mix Tips:

  • Make as small or large of a batch as you like.
    For example: To make 1 cup of lemon sour, mix 1/2 cup simple syrup with 1 cup lemon juice. This will make about 5 Cable Cars.

  • The average lemon yields about 1 3/4 ounces of juice. You will need about five lemons for 1 cup of lemon sour. We recommend using a hand or electric juicer to make easy work of it.

How Strong Is the Cable Car?

Using the exact measurements and brands that the Cable Car was designed for, we can estimate this cocktail to be about 18 percent ABV (36 proof).