I haven’t done an infused spirits post in a long time, probably too long. I hope that this one more than makes up for my spirits absence. Given my love for bourbon, I was inspired to re-create a cocktail I had enjoyed on a trip to London a couple of years ago.
While roaming around the streets of London, a couple of years ago, Craig and I stumbled into a very cool cocktail club that you’d never find unless you knew about it or nosily poke your face into places that you have no idea what they are but look really interesting. The Experimental Cocktail Club in London is one of those places.
While it’s called a “club,” this isn’t some cavernous hall with scantily clad waitresses delivering gigantic bottles of booze adorned with crazy amounts of sparklers. This is more of an intimate setting type of club. It feels more like you’re hanging out a friends house (a friend that has an incredible bar with amazing ingredients) and just having a couple of drinks.
The menu has some really interesting cocktails with imaginative mix ups of liquids. Stuff you swear would never work and might be something you would whip up as a dare for your buddy to drink. But with all of the crazy cocktail combinations that we tried, they were all really (surprisingly) delicious. One of our favorites was The Havana Cocktail.
This drink was originally created by Shawn Layton of L’Abattoir in Vancouver, Canada and it’s a mixture of Cuban cigar tobacco infused bourbon (which in London, unlike the US, is perfectly legal to have…the Cuban cigar part), marsala and bitters. This is not a cocktail recipe for the faint of heart – there are some really strong flavors in here. But if you embrace the idea of enjoying a cigar, with glass of whiskey while sitting in a leather wingback chair, this cocktail is for you.
While this is not the actual recipe for The Havana, it is my interpretation of the cocktail after having indulged in one (okay, I actually grabbed Craig’s and left him with mine). Oh, and if you can serve it with one large ice cube in the glass not only will you add to the allure of the drink, the ice will melt more slowly and not dilute the cocktail as quickly.
- Tobacco Infused Bourbon:
- 1 Cup (.24l) Bourbon
- 3 1″ (2.54cm) Pieces Cut from a Good Quality Cigar
- 2 Ounces (59ml) Infused Bourbon
- ¾ Ounce (22ml) Frangelico
- 12 Dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters
- 9 Dashes Cherry Bitters
- 3 Dashes Angosturo Bitters
- Tobacco Infused Bourbon:
- Add cigar pieces to a re-sealable glass container.
- Pour bourbon over the top of the cigar pieces.
- Stir the bourbon and tobacco to loosen up the leaves and continue to stir until all of the leaves are separated.
- Seal the container and set in a cool place for 6 hours.
- After 6 hours, strain the bourbon through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.
- Add the bourbon and Frangelico to a large rocks glass.
- Add in the various bitters and stir to combine all ingredients.
- Carefully place the ice into the glass and serve.
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