The Revolver Cocktail is a serious cocktail mixing coffee liqueur and orange bitters with bourbon. The perfect winter in front of the fire libation.
When the Revolver Cocktail was originally introduced by San Francisco bartender Jon Santer around 2003, it was made with Bulleit Bourbon (play on words…Bulleit, Revolver). Bulleit is a rye heavy bourbon and the drink combines it with coffee liqueur with a nice spicy accent from orange bitters.
Santer used Tia Maria, a Jamaican coffee liqueur; I’ve simply pulled Kahlua from my bar. Each coffee liqueur has some differences so try a couple to find your favorite. I love Galliano Ristretto from Italy that’s made with espresso beans, and sometimes I’ll use my Homemade Coffee Liqueur but my stash was gone so Kahlua it was.
If you’ve ever spiked a cup of coffee with a splash of bourbon, you’ll know the flavor profile even if the whiskey rules in this cocktail. The orange bitters and the oil from an orange peel serve to brighten the drink. If you love bourbon like I do and occasionally crave a really grownup cocktail, this could be a real find for you.
This cocktail follows the rule of ‘not shaken but stirred,’ usually without a plethora of ingredients, most notably juice, a cocktail is stirred to get cold in a bar mixer in lieu of shaking it in a cocktail shaker. Plus I love pulling out this pretty piece. 🙂
I do love bourbon, I most often use it in a concoction with more fruit and sugar involved. The drier, spicier flavor of rye whiskey though is what is thought to work best in many bourbon forward drinks including the many variations of Manhattans and used to include the Old Fashioned too.
While Santer may have started the Revolver using Rye Whiskey, Bourbon tends to be a bit sweeter and quite honestly maybe more to my liking and I have no problems using it instead of Rye. So don’t let the rye business stop you…either one makes for an excellent cocktail.
I reached into my bar for some Basil Hayden. I originally bought Basil Hayden as a suggestion from a friend when she gave me a recipe for a Pumpernickel and Rye Bread Dressing with Bourbon for our Thanksgiving turkey…and I’ve loved it ever since.
This is a great winter cocktail; especially in front of a roaring fire. We had tons of snow dumped on us yesterday; I know another one is my destiny!
PIN IT! ‘The Revolver Cocktail’
- 4 ounces bourbon (a rye-heavy bourbon such as Bulleit, Buffalo Trace or Basil Hayden is recommended)
- 1 ounce coffee liqueur
- 4 dashes orange bitters
- 2 Wide strips of orange zest
- Chill two coupe or lowball cocktail glasses.
- Combine bourbon, coffee liqueur, and orange bitters in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
- Twist orange peel to express oils over drink and add as a garnish.
If you want to do something fun try flaming the orange twist; the resulting flavor is fantastic. One flamed, add to the cocktail as garnish.
Amount Per Serving Calories 224Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 2mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 0gSugar 7gProtein 0g