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Liberal Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (100 proof)
  • 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Amer Picon
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

Chill a cocktail glass. Stir all ingredients with ice cubes.  Strain into the chilled glass.  Garnish with a lemon or orange twist - your choice.

Prep Time 1 minute
Servings 1
Category Cocktail
Tags 1880-1919 (Golden Age), Elegant, Obscure
Proof 55.5
Strength 1.3 standard drinks
Glass Cocktail Glass
Temp Cold

A pleasant variation on the Manhattan, the Liberal first appeared in the very early 20th Century.  Where the name comes from I do not know.  Maybe from the liberal addition of another ingredient to the standard Manhattan formula?  The fact that the additional ingredient was (and is) hugely popular in California?  I would guess the former but that's just a guess.

A Liberal cocktail can be made with either rye or bourbon.  I tend to prefer rye but that's just me.  What is more important is using a whiskey like they did back in 1908 or so which means you need something stronger than 80 proof.  A 100 proof rye (Rittenhouse bonded) or bourbon (Knob Creek) work splendidly.  The higher proof helps the whiskey not get covered up by the sweet, herbal character of the vermouth and Amer Picon.  If you only have 80 proof just increase to 1 3/4 oz for the whiskey.

As Amer Picon is not available where I live, I am using Amaro CioCiaro as a substitute.  Also, Regan's No. 6 Orange Bitters work well in a Liberal.

Rating (Liquor & Drink)


Rittenhouse 100 proof Bonded rye, Dolin sweet vermouth, Amaro CioCiaro and Regan's orange bitters. 3/4/2011

Ingredient Profile

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