Barbary Coast (Variation)

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Cocktail History

The Barbary Coast is a vintage cocktail that was created by Harry Craddock and was first published in his 1930 book The Savoy Cocktail Book. It’s traditionally made with a gin and Scotch whisky base, white chocolate liqueur, and cream, but this variation, credited to William Elliot of New York, modernizes the recipe by adding rose water, aromatic bitters, and nutmeg. Why Craddock named the drink as such is a mystery, with the possibilities being that the name is a nod to either the coast in Northern Africa or the sultry red light district that existed in San Francisco during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Gin: This is a type of liquor made with juniper berries, botanicals, and alcohol. We used West Cork Distillers Garnish Island Gin because it has floral and herb botanicals with chocolate notes. For a mocktail version of this drink, try MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin.

Peaty Islay Scotch: This is a type of of Scotch whisky made in southern Scotland with with spices, alcohol, water, and malt or grain that has been dried with peat fires. We used Ardbeg 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky because it has a strong peaty flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky.

White Crème De Cacao: This is a liqueur made with white chocolate, vanilla, sugar, and alcohol. We used DeKuyper Crème De Cacao White because it has a delightful white chocolate flavor and is affordable. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium White Chocolate Syrup in place of the white chocolate liqueur.

Heavy Cream: This is a thick, high-fat milk product. We used use half & half instead of heavy cream because it’s lower in calories. For a dairy-free version of this drink, try Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative in place of the cream.

Rose Water: This is a flavored water made by steeping rose petals in water. We used Cortas Premium Rose Water because it’s high quality.

Aromatic Bitters: This is a food product made with botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Angostura Aromatic Bitters. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters.

Orange Twist: This is the peel of a orange that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Grated Nutmeg: This is a spice made from the seed of a nutmeg tree. We used whole nutmeg from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Grater: This is used to grate spices or citrus peel. We used the OXO Good Grips Grater.

Tasting Notes

The Barbary Coast begins with aromas of sweet nutmeg, has a creamy texture that features the deep earthiness of peated Scotch complemented with a bit of chocolate and hints of herbs, citrus, and spices, and ends with a mostly dry aftertaste that leaves a slight spiciness and herbal note in the back of the throat.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: If you want to partake in a dessert drink but don’t have much of a sweet tooth, this recipe may fit the bill. Kendall unfortunately wasn’t a fan of the Scotch being front and center, and Alex would’ve liked a touch more chocolate flavor to complement the Scotch. Those points aside though, we still found the Barbary Coast to offer an amazing amount of complexity with its eclectic list of ingredients.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“This drink was really interesting, but I unfortunately enjoyed it a bit less than I expected to after seeing the list of ingredients. It ends up being very dry, which is not a bad thing, but for a cream-based drink that includes chocolate, you expect a level of sweetness that wasn’t there in this case. It’s a good ‘serious’ drink where the spirits are identifiable and can be tasted, and the Scotch lends a really good earthiness and smokiness that benefits the drink’s character. The chocolate from the crème de cacao is also there but not very upfront, and it lends a good supporting role to the other ingredients, making this a good dessert-style but not actually very desserty drink.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐
“This was a very interesting dessert cocktail. I’ve met very few of them that I didn’t like, but I do have to admit that this one wasn’t my favorite, mostly because the Islay Scotch’s flavors are quite prominent. That whisky isn’t my go-to because I find it to be too smoky and overpowering in most recipes, and that was how I felt about it in this drink. If you’re already a fan of Islay Scotch, I do think you might enjoy the Barbary Coast! It’s not really all the sweet and is very complex.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH.

Sale
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages – 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$14.58 Amazon Prime

AuthorWinter Drinks

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 oz Gin
 1 oz Islay Scotch
 1 oz White Crème De Cacao
 1 oz Heavy Cream
 6 drops Rose Water
 3 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 1 Orange Twist
 Grated Nutmeg

Method
1

Add gin, Scotch, crème de cacao, heavy cream, rose water, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a Nick & Nora glass.

4

Express orange twist over top of drink.

5

Garnish with orange twist and grated nutmeg.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Gin
 1 oz Islay Scotch
 1 oz White Crème De Cacao
 1 oz Heavy Cream
 6 drops Rose Water
 3 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 1 Orange Twist
 Grated Nutmeg

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, Scotch, crème de cacao, heavy cream, rose water, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a Nick & Nora glass.

4

Express orange twist over top of drink.

5

Garnish with orange twist and grated nutmeg.

Barbary Coast

Make It a Mocktail: Use MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin, Escape Mocktails Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky, Monin Premium White Chocolate Syrup in place of the white chocolate liqueur, and All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

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More Dessert Cocktails

If you like this dessert cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

The Marriage of Maguey Cocktail Recipe

The Marriage of Maguey: A mezcal and tequila cocktail made with coffee chocolate liqueur, orange curaçao, and agave syrup

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cocktail Recipe

Chocolate-Covered Cherry: A brandy cocktail made with dark crème de cacao, cherry liqueur, and a cherry

Grand Galliano Cocktail Recipe

Grand Galliano: A low-proof cocktail made with Liquore Galliano L’Autentico, Grand Marnier, heavy cream, an orange twist, and grated nutmeg

Falling Leaves Cocktail Recipe

Falling Leaves: A rye cocktail made with Amaro Montenegro, toasted fig syrup, chocolate bitters, and an orange slice

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