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Thirsty for some local flavors, we went to six bartenders and requested they invent drinks based on historic local events and people.

1. Hunter S. Thompson

The Gonzo’d Old Fashioned

The Monkey Wrench, 1025 Barret Ave.

2 ounces Wild Turkey 101 (or any really over-proof bourbon)

1 sugar cube (which may or may not contain at least three
doses of LSD)

½ ounce Chartreuse

1 dash Angostura bitters

2 dashes Bittermens Burlesque bitters

1 dash of BD (local producer Brian Dawahare) strawberry-sassafras bitters (available at Westport Whiskey and Wine)

One chunk of pineapple

One slice of grapefruit 

One slice of orange 

Muddle pineapple, grapefruit, sugar cube and orange in a double old fashioned glass (about eight to 10 ounces). Pour remaining ingredients into said glass with a few pieces of ice and stir until combined. Add ice cubes to complete the drink.

Garnish: Slices of orange, pineapple and cherry, all lightly dusted with powdered sugar, on a stick, and a cocktail umbrella. Optional garnish: a still-burning Dunhill cigarette (Pall Mall also acceptable) in a small ashtray, with a shot of Chivas Regal set off to the side.

“His gonzo writing style led me to choose an over-the-top approach to the drink. I think Hunter Thompson would drink it, definitely. It’s the addition of Chartreuse that brings a level of absurdity to the drink. It’s the sweet spot bordering on crazy that makes the drink brilliant.”

— Jared Schubert, bartender

2. The Louisville Slugger

The Pee Wee Shandy

Rye, 900 E. Market St.

2 ounces bourbon

¾ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

¾ ounce simple syrup

2 dashes Bittermens Boston Bittahs

Shake and strain into a Collins glass. Fill with Pabst Blue Ribbon. Top with juniper foam and garnish with a lemon slice.

“It was such a strange request. I guess my favorite part of making this was the backstory of Louisville Slugger. I found myself doing a lot of research on Louisville Slugger and finally said, (Expletive), I’ll go with baseball in the summer. Being such a spring and summer sport, I think about sitting in the grass and drinking a beer — that’s where PBR comes in.”

— Doug Petry, mixologist

3. Colonel Harland Sanders

Curse of the Colonel

Meta, 425 W. Chestnut St.

¼ ounce cola syrup

1 bar spoon Bénédictine

¼ ounce Suze

2 ounces Jim Beam Rye

Combine ingredients in mixing glass, stir on ice, strain into coupe. Garnish with lemon twist, expressed and inserted.

“I started with an all-American feel and got a little ‘meta’ with it. I think of the Colonel as an American ambassador and of KFC as a bucket of chicken and a Coke. The name came from a Japanese Hanshin Tigers baseball game in 1985 when celebrating fans knocked a statue of the Colonel into a river. The curse explains the Tigers’ losing streak.”

— Jeremy Johnson, co-owner

4. Muhammad Ali

The Knockout

Cole’s Place, 2928 W. Kentucky St.

½ shot Christian Brothers brandy

½ shot wild-cherry brandy

½ shot triple sec

Dash pineapple juice

½ shot rum

Dash “sweet-and-sour”

½ shot peach schnapps

Mix. Serve over ice.

“It’s called the Knockout because it’s a one-hitter quitter — it will knock you out. The cocktail is tart and sweet and it’s good to drink all year-round.”

— Ebony Nolden, bartender

6. Forecastle Festival

Old Fo’ Castle

Zanzabar, 2100 S. Preston St.

3 ounces Old Forester

½ ounce Kilimanjaro ginger syrup

6 shakes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters

Shake vigorously. Serve in a nine-ounce rock glass over ice. Garnish with candied ginger.

“I wanted something that was affordable and that I thought the founder of Forecastle would like. My wife knows founder JK McKnight rather well, and he’s a big fan of bourbon. The cocktail is kind of like a grown-up bourbon-and-ginger. It’s got a little more texture to it, though.”

— Marc De Michele, bartender

“We are a music venue, and every year we look forward to the weekend of Forecastle. It will be a special seasonal drink that we’ll serve only around the time of Forecastle.”

— Antz Wettig, co-owner

7. ’74 Tornado

Cherry Bounce Back

Equus & Jack’s Lounge, 122 Sears Ave.

2 ounces Kentucky bourbon

½ ounce Kilimanjaro ginger syrup

1 ounce Bourbon Barrel Foods cherry juice from a
jar of cherries

6 dashes of Bourbon Barrel Foods spiced cherry bitters

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Bourbon Barrel Foods cherry and a slice of candied ginger.

“The name is reminiscent of the tornado that swept through in the ’70s. The drink is modeled after the Cherry Bounce, one of the oldest recipes using whiskey. It goes back to when sweet cherries and pitted cherries were set in whiskey and left to rest. I chose to use cherries because I try to use local foods, and Bourbon Barrel Foods just came out with the spiced cherry bitters.”

— Joy Perrine, bartender

Interviews Sara Price 

Photo Credits Jolea Brown 


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