Boo Radley

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Cocktail History

The Boo Radley is a modern classic cocktail that was created by Chris Hannah at French 75 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a variation of the classic Creole Cocktail that uses 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 also 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 the base spirit. We went with Buffalo Trace Distillery Benchmark Bourbon for its delicious whiskey spice and notes of caramel, stone fruit, tobacco, oak, and cherries that we knew would pair well with the cherry liqueur.

Cynar: This is an amaro. It adds a bitter herbal flavor with notes of toffee, caramel, and cinnamon.

Cherry Liqueur: This gives the drink its deep cherry flavor. When a recipe specifically calls for Heering Cherry Liqueur, it does so because this liqueur has a very distinct taste that can’t be replicated by substitutes. You can use other cherry liqueurs if you can’t find Heering’s, but just know it won’t quite be the same.

Lemon Peel: This is one of the garnishes. It adds fresh lemon aroma.

Orange Peel: This is the other garnish. It adds fresh orange aroma.

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 this drink 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.

Take Our Quiz →

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 enjoy! 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)
$11.49

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

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

Method
1

Add bourbon, Cynar, cherry liqueur, and 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 peels.

Ingredients

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

Directions

Method
1

Add bourbon, Cynar, cherry liqueur, and 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 peels.

Boo Radley

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Whiskey Cocktails

If you like this whiskey 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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