Boo Radley

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Cocktail History

The Boo Radley is a modern cocktail that was created by Chris Hannah at French 75 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s a variation based on the classic Creole Cocktail that calls for bourbon as the base spirit, but instead of vermouth, Amer Picon, and Bénédictine, it adds Cynar for its menacing color and slightly bitter taste as well as cherry liqueur for its innocent sweetness to balance it back out. The drink is aptly named for the frightening yet ultimately gentle neighbor of the Finch family in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Bourbon: This is a type of whiskey made in the United States with at least 51% corn, grains, malted barley, and water. We used Buffalo Trace Distillery Benchmark Bourbon because it has a delicious whiskey spice with notes of caramel, stone fruit, tobacco, oak, and cherries. For a low-proof version of this drink, try Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey.

Cynar: This is a liqueur made in Italy with artichokes, herbs, spices, sugar, and alcohol.

Heering Cherry Liqueur: This is a liqueur made in Denmark with Stevens cherries, baking spices, almonds, sugar, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Cherry Syrup in place of the cherry liqueur.

Lemon Peel: This is the peel of a lemon that has been cut into a strip shape.

Orange Peel: This is the peel of an orange that has been cut into a strip shape.

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.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

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

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

Cocktail Pick: This is used to hold the garnish. We used one from the I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Pick Set.

Tasting Notes

The Boo Radley starts with the aromas of citrus and Cynar, and the taste is initially cherry-sweet before being mellowed out by the bourbon and accompanied by the very unique taste of the amaro. The aftertaste is also very diverse, distinctly featuring all three flavors but ultimately leaving you with a tiny lingering bitterness and mild burn.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Like the character, there’s more than meets the eye with this cocktail. We both thought the Boo Radley was much easier to love than expected and would take it over a Manhattan any day. 

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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.

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Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I figured I would like this cocktail, with its combination of bourbon, sweetener, and amaro. But I actually enjoyed it far more than I expected. The Cynar steals the show. Its slight bitterness and herbal notes give the drink a super unique flavor while not making it actually bitter. And the bourbon and cherry combine to create a flavorful sweetness that gives the Cynar something to balance. All three make this drink a very dark and brooding yet sweet, herbal, and only slightly bitter mixture.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Finally a cocktail with Cynar that I enjoyed! The bourbon and cherry paired with the bitter amaro make for a wonderfully complex flavor profile. I liked this recipe and could see myself drinking it again.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Cynar
 ½ oz Heering Cherry Liqueur
 1 Lemon Twist
 1 Orange Twist

Method
1

Add bourbon, Cynar, cherry liqueur, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Express lemon and orange peels over top.

5

Garnish with lemon and orange twists.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Cynar
 ½ oz Heering Cherry Liqueur
 1 Lemon Twist
 1 Orange Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add bourbon, Cynar, cherry liqueur, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Express lemon and orange peels over top.

5

Garnish with lemon and orange twists.

Boo Radley

Make It a Mocktail: Use Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey and Monin Premium Cherry Syrup in place of the cherry liqueur to try a low-proof version of this drink.

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More Whiskey Cocktails

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

Mountain Man Cocktail Recipe

Mountain Man: A bourbon cocktail made with lemon juice, peach liqueur, ginger syrup, maple syrup, and candied ginger

Smashed Pumpkin Cocktail Recipe

Smashed Pumpkin: A bourbon cocktail made with lemon juice, pumpkin spice syrup, orange bitters, and an egg white

Falling Leaves Cocktail Recipe

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

Iron Ranger Cocktail Recipe

Iron Ranger: A whiskey cocktail made with pineapple juice, lemon juice, velvet falernum liqueur, cinnamon syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, mint, and a cinnamon stick

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