Left Hand Cocktail Recipe

Left Hand Cocktail Recipe

At first glance, it’s easy to think you’ve seen this drink before. At its essence, it’s a Boulevardier—a Negroni made with bourbon instead of gin—with modified proportions and the addition of chocolate bitters. These minor changes make for a completely new drink, despite the fact that they are small.

Sasha Petraske created cocktails that were simple and precise. Sam Ross (of Penicillin fame and Paper Plane fame) created this classic drink. Ross describes the drink as “a love child between a Negroni and a Manhattan,”Both drinks have a strong influence on each other. The spirit-Campari-sweet vermouth combination of the Negroni is obvious, while the Manhattan’s 2-to-1 ratio of whiskey and sweet vermouth, plus bitters, simply gets an additional splash of Campari.  

Bartenders of all ages, modern and old, know that adding one ingredient can change the direction of a cocktail. Even if it is in small amounts, there are many who have discovered this. The ingredient in this case is chocolate bitters. “Before the Boulevardier came back into prominence, this was a bourbon riff on the Negroni that we created using the newly released chocolate bitters from Bittermen’s,” says Ross in Petraske’s 2016 book Regarding Cocktails. Rounding out the spiced softness of both the bourbon and the sweet vermouth, and tempering the Campari’s sharp bitterness, the bitters also impart a distinct complexity that turns the drink into something that may gently evoke a chocolate-covered cherry in the best and booziest of ways.

It was just one of several drinks that came up at the bar. “We created a series of ‘Hand’ cocktails in the early days of Milk & Honey,”Ross says so in the book. “The Right Hand was an aged-rum take; Tres Hands was is mezcal-and-tequila sister; and the Smoking Hand was her brother from Islay and the Highlands.”This particular cocktail has been the most popular of all the series.   

It is a great success. “Sasha reserved his compliments for only a few drinks, but this was one of our cocktails in the ‘Hand’ series that he loved,”Ross. “‘Well played, Sam,’ [Sasha] said.”

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Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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