Cocktail of the Week #7: The Fatigue Cocktail

And now for something a little different.

I recently picked up a lovely little recipe collection called beta cocktails, produced by the bartender duo of Maks & Kirk who run the website of the same name. The cocktails they feature are known for a more bitters heavy approach — sometimes this means generous use of what we normally think of as bitters (i.e. non-potable bitters like Angostura) and in other cases it refers to the category of spirits known as bitters, such as Campari, Fernet Branca and so on.

Suffice to say, these drinks will probably come across as pretty damn strange unless you’ve already been warped by a cornucopia of classics, remixed classics and “common moderns”.

But whether you find them strange or succulent, they’re worth a go and today I’ve got a prime example: The Fatigue Cocktail.

The recipe:

  • 1oz Jack Daniels
  • 1oz Maraschino Liqueur (like Luxardo)
  • 1oz Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Grapefruit Twist
  • Shake with ice and strain into a coupe. Garnish with the grapefruit twist.

Right away, you might notice two increda-fucking-bly odd things about this drink:

  1. The use of more than a few dashes of bitters
  2. The shaking of a seemingly all-spirits cocktail

Okay, maybe that last one isn’t too weird (after all, The Stinger as enjoyed by Peggy Olsen on Mad Men is shaken), but the use of non-potable bitters in such large quantities should wig you out a little bit.

In the case of the Angostura, it transmits a very strong allspice note to the blended whiskey and maraschino combination, helping to balance out the pungency of the sour cherry. And to be honest, upon having this all I could think was: “Holy moly, I’ve never had anything else like it.”

Strong like a stirred cocktail, but all kinds of funky spice and sour notes that are tempered by the grapefruit twist. And the use of Jack Daniels — shunned by most in the craft cocktail circuit — is especially fascinating.

And that’s maybe what I like most about this one, that it uses such common ingredients but produces such an odd flavor. Most home bar afficionados could probably make this one tonight with no extra investment. In my book, that’s enough to catapult this one into the Cocktail of the Week.

Enjoy our Cocktail of the Week posts? Check out the archives!

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