Revolver

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Cocktail History

The Revolver is a modern cocktail that was created in the early 2000s by Jon Santer in San Francisco, California. The recipe uses the Manhattan template but deepens its flavors by adding the boldness of coffee and tang of citrus. Back in the day, it was originally made with Bulleit bourbon, hence its name, as well as coffee liqueur, simple syrup, and orange bitters, and it specifically calls for flamed citrus peel for the flavor, aroma, and flair it lends.

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 mocktail version of this drink, try Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey.

Coffee Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with coffee, spices, sugar, and alcohol. We used Mr. Black Spirits Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur because it has a bold coffee flavor with very little sweetness. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Coffee Original Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the coffee liqueur.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with white sugar and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Orange Bitters: This is a food product made with oranges, botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Angostura Orange Bitters. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Non-Alcoholic Orange Bitters in place of the orange bitters.

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

Tasting Notes

The Revolver begins with singed citrus aromas and a bold, coffee-forward flavor complemented by the sweet spiciness of bourbon and a touch of orange zest, while the aftertaste goes down with bourbon’s sharp finish and leaves a lingering dark note of coffee in the throat.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both found our version of the Revolver to be just a bit lacking; we didn’t use the exact brands recommended, and a drink with so few components doesn’t allow for much variation. That said, we both really appreciated the concept and will be playing around with different versions to try and find the perfect balance.

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: ⭐⭐⭐
“I unfortunately didn’t love this one as much as I expected to, but I think I would blame the ingredients we used for it. Without access to the St. George Spirits Coffee Liqueur used by the bartender, we really had no way of knowing the exact intended taste profile of his drink. As amazing as Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur is, it lends less sweetness than a typical coffee liqueur. Plus, the bourbon we used had a mashbill with about 10% less rye content than the Bulleit he calls for. Overall, I absolutely will revisit this drink, if not at least to do some riffs on it, but I think this iteration just wasn’t quite what the creator intended.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I have come a long way in my journey to enjoying a good whiskey drink. When we started tastings two years ago, I could barely drink the stuff, and now I do request a bourbon or rye-based cocktail on occasion. That said, I thought I would really enjoy this recipe, but it was just too heavy on the bourbon spice for me. Alex chalked it up to not using the brands listed in the book, but I don’t think this one is for me regardless. I think I still need more ingredients in my whiskey cocktails for balance.”

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)
$14.73 Amazon Prime

AuthorWinter Drinks

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ½ oz Coffee Liqueur
 2 dashes Orange Bitters
 1 Orange Twist

Method
1

Add bourbon, coffee liqueur, simple syrup, bitters, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 15-30 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Flame orange twist and add to glass as garnish.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ½ oz Coffee Liqueur
 2 dashes Orange Bitters
 1 Orange Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add bourbon, coffee liqueur, simple syrup, bitters, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 15-30 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Flame orange twist and add to glass as garnish.

Revolver

Make It a Mocktail: Use Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey, Lyre’s Coffee Original Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the coffee liqueur, and All The Bitter Non-Alcoholic Orange Bitters in place of the orange bitters to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Coffee Cocktails

If you like this coffee-flavored 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

White Russian Cocktail Recipe

White Russian: A rum cocktail made with coffee liqueur, Luxardo Amaro Abano, amaretto liqueur, and half & half

Sabueso Old Fashioned

Sabueso Old Fashioned: A tequila and mezcal cocktail made with caramel coffee syrup, coffee and chocolate bitters, and an orange peel

Mocha Rum Toddy Cocktail Recipe

Mocha Rum Toddy: A rum cocktail made with coffee, dark crème de cacao, simple syrup, whipped cream, and cocoa powder

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