THE BLACKBURN BELONGS LOOSELY TO A FAMILY OF DRINKS DESCENDED FROM THE VIEUX CARRÉ, a bold cocktail invented in New Orleans sometime in the 1930s that combined several brown spirits few would previously have thought to mix. It proved once again that a finished cocktail is greater than the sum of its parts — something that’s also true with the complex and spirit-forward Blackburn, which its author, Bruce, describes as “moody, smoky and silky-smooth”
• 2 oz blended Scotch whisky
• 1/2 oz herbal amaro (like Averna)
• 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
• 1/4 oz Bénédictine
• 2 dashes false cardamom tincture*
• 2 brandied cherries
Combine ingredients over ice** in a cocktail shaker. Stir for 45 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish.
*Tincture of false cardamom (also known as korarima or Ethiopian cardamom) can be substituted with conventional cardamom tincture (see À la Luz for recipe).
**At the Keefer Bar, this cocktail is aged in bees- wax-lined bottles for a week. Feel free to follow suit or skip that step. It’s a great drink, either way.