Big Chief

Abigail Deirdre Gullo, Compère Lapin | New Orleans

According to Abigail Deirdre Gullo, formerly of NoLa’s SoBou and now at Compère Lapin, this strong and stirred cocktail is “named after the Big Chief Indians down here in New Orleans that lead their tribes in the St. Joseph’s Day parade.” The drink is derived from a lineage of New York-named drinks, most immeditately a variation on the Longshoreman, which is based on the Red Hook, which is based on the Brooklyn, which is based on the Manhattan. “It’s kind of the journey I made from Manhattan to Fort Defiance in Brooklyn and now to New Orleans and SoBou,” she says. “I wanted to use Averna because the Sicilian influence is very strong here in New Orleans. It’s also what I like to imagine my great-great grandfather doing a shot of (along with some espresso) before he left Palermo for the New World.”


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces bourbon (preferably Buffalo Trace)
  • 1/2 ounce Averna
  • 1/2 ounce Punt e Mes

Garnish: flambeaux orange peel

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into a Nick and Nora glass or coupe.
  4. Holding the peel of an orange in your fingers, warm the peel side with a lit match over the drink.
  5. Squeeze the peel to express the oils over the match and drop the peel into the glass.