Weathered Axe

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Cocktail History

The Weathered Axe is an autumn whiskey cocktail recipe that was created by Danny Shapiro of Scofflaw in Chicago. It is enjoyed by imbibers there in multiple forms and is served year-round, but during the cold months, the recipe swaps out its traditional fresh mint bouquet for a sprig of rosemary. This small change transforms the light, cool, citrusy drink into a woodsy and savory cocktail fit for autumn in the Midwest.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Bourbon: This is the base spirit. We used Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon because it lends a deeper oakiness to the drink. 

Lemon Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors for balance. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Combier L’Original Liqueur d’Orange: This is a liqueur that adds sweeter citrus flavors. The recipe specifically calls for Combier Liqueur, but that was unavailable in our area so we substituted Cointreau for a similar taste.

Cocchi Americano: This is a quinine-flavored aperitif wine that adds slightly bitter citrus, honey, and spice flavors.

Homemade Ginger Syrup: This is a sweetener that gives the cocktail its spicy ginger flavor. We make our syrup using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Absinthe: This is a spirit that adds a hint of distinct licorice aroma. We used Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte made by Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin because it’s made locally to us.

Rosemary: This is the garnish. This adds herbal fragrances as well as a delightful autumnal feeling.

Tasting Notes

The Weathered Axe begins with aromas of absinthe and rosemary, features a citrus-forward taste that includes bourbon’s deep oakiness and spice, and evolves into a complex mix of Cocchi Americano and orange liqueur, all of which is followed by a noticeable ginger spice with a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both adored this drink for its combination of bright flavors and cool scents and will definitely be mixing it again, whether it’s with piney rosemary in the winter or cool mint in the summer.

Alex’s Take: “Based on the recipe, I figured this would taste great, but I was a little unsure how the ingredients would come together. Once you get past a certain number of flavors, it can all start to turn “brown” as Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails describes. I was wrong, however, and this drink ended up being absolutely delicious. The absinthe is noticeable in aroma only, and I felt that the rosemary added an extra savory note that complemented the rest of the recipe. Going into it, the lemon is pretty forward, but it mixes well with bourbon. And the combination of Cocchi Americano and orange liqueur creates nice, bright flavors. The ginger shows up largely on the way out and, when paired with the Cocchi Americano’s bitterness, is very pleasant. This recipe definitely takes the whiskey sour formula up several notches.”

Kendall’s Take: “The taste of this cocktail reminded me a lot of the Mountain Man, which I already loved after trying it for the first time earlier this year. I’m not sure if I like this one or the other better! I’m still leaning towards the Mountain Man because I really enjoyed the addition of maple syrup in that recipe, but the bourbon, citrus, and ginger is such a yummy combination in this one too. You’ll just have to try them to see which is your favorite!”

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.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Combier L'Original Liqueur d'Orange
 ½ oz Cocchi Americano
 1 Spray Absinthe
 1 Rosemary Sprig

Method
1

Add bourbon, lemon juice, Combier L'Original Liqueur d'Orange, Cocchi Americano, ginger syrup, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh ice.

4

Spray with absinthe.

5

Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Combier L'Original Liqueur d'Orange
 ½ oz Cocchi Americano
 1 Spray Absinthe
 1 Rosemary Sprig

Directions

Method
1

Add bourbon, lemon juice, Combier L'Original Liqueur d'Orange, Cocchi Americano, ginger syrup, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh ice.

4

Spray with absinthe.

5

Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Weathered Axe

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More Whiskey Cocktails

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

 Boo Radley: A bourbon cocktail made with Cynar, cherry liqueur, a lemon peel, and an orange peel

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

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

 Stone Fence: A bourbon cocktail made with apple cider, Angostura Aromatic bitters, and mint

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