101 Best New Cocktails, 2012: Firebird by Darren Crawford, Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco

by Gaz Regan · Monday, December 24th, 2012 · 101 Best New Cocktails 2012


Adapted from a recipe by Darren Crawford, Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco.

“This drink just won a cocktail competition last night in SF at 15 Romolo for their inaugural Booze and Brew Brawl. St. George Spirits uses a beer mash from Sierra Nevada Brewing to make their single malt whiskey so naturally I chose to pair it with an IPA. The results are downright delicious. Hope you enjoy. Cheers!” Darren Crawford.

45 ml (1.5 oz) St. George Single Malt whiskey

22.5 ml (.75 oz) fresh lemon juice

15 ml (.5 oz) apricot liqueur (peach also works)

7.5 ml (.25 oz) nocino

7.5 ml (.25 oz) turbinado syrup

2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashion bitters

30 ml (1 oz) Firestone Union Jack IPA

1 orange twist, as garnish

Combine all ingredients except beer in a mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain into a collins glass with fresh ice. Float the beer on top. Flame the twist over the drink, then add as garnish.

gaz sez: I go way back with the guys at St. George Spirits—they were pioneers in the craft distilling movement, and they did much to help popularize artisanal spirits, so this recipe caught my eye as soon as I opened the email. The fact that they use Sierra Nevada pale ale to make their whiskey helps, too—I drink upward of 365 bottles of that stuff each and every year.

            The rich walnut flavors from the nocino (I used Nocino della Cristina from Napa) and the fruity notes from the apricot liqueur (I used Rothman and Winter), marry well with the St. George single malt, the pale ale adds a dryness to the drink, the turbinado syrup brings richness, and the Fee Brothers Old Fashion bitters ties the knot. Pretty spectacular drink is the Firebird. Well done, Darren.

This is one of 2012’s 101 Best New Cocktails.

Click HERE to submit your recipe for a chance to be included in next year’s list.

Click HERE to order 101 Best New Cocktails 2012

Click HERE to order the Annual Manual for Bartenders: 2012.

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