The Dead Rabbit’s Whiskey Cocktail

Adapted from The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual by Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry and Ben Schaffer

Inspiration: William Schmidt, The Flowing Bowl, 1892

Schmidt’s original is heavily boozy, a whiskey and bitters brawler in the best cocktail tradition. As with many of the drinks in this chapter, we’re taming the beast and evening out the flavors. For this recipe, we will ratchet up the bitters component with two complementary formulas, plus our old standby, absinthe. Further seasoning comes via gloriously herbal Bénédictine (perhaps familiar to most imbibers when combined with brandy as B&B) and Royal Combier, which is a spicy liqueur that has in fact already been blended into brandy.

Royal Combier, featuring aloe, nutmeg, myrrh, cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron, is a perfect foil to the nuttiness of Old Overholt. Bénédictine involves twenty-seven secret herbs and spices, far more than needed even for fried chicken. Nonetheless, fried chicken goes great with a Whiskey Cocktail.

Text Excerpted from The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual (c) 2015 by The Best Bar in the World LLC. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Photos (c) Brent Herrig Photography


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce Bénédictine
  • 1/4 ounce Royal Combier
  • 3 dashes Dead Rabbit Orinoco Bitters or Angostura Aromatic bitters
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 3 dashes Pernod Absinthe

Garnish: Orange peel

  1. Add all the ingredients, except the garnish, to a mixing glass.
  2. Fill with ice and stir until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass.
  4. Twist the orange peel over the glass to express the oils, then discard the peel.