With an ingredient list that includes some unlikely combinations, the Grand Royal is a dangerously drinkable concoction that is both luxurious and refreshing. The heady floral notes of gin are cut by the tartness of the citrus and rounded out by the sugar. Not overly sweet, the cherry liqueur adds a fruity note at the end while the cream lends richness, giving the drink a velvety-smooth mouth feel. The whole thing is then topped off with the all-important "fizz," which wakes up the drink and gives it legs to stand on.
Adding a French Caribbean accent to the Old Fashioned's distinctive citrus notes, former Brandy Library beverage director, Ethan Kelley, introduced Créole Shrubb, an orange liqueur made from blended white and aged rums flavored with bitter orange peels. A bourbon and simple syrup infused cherry (a quick marination can be made at home with one part water to two parts bourbon, with sweetener. Cut the cherries in halves to speed the process.) is first muddled with Angostura bitters and a slice of orange.
The Seelbach comes with one of the best cocktail party tales: hailing from the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, the drink took a nearly 80-year hiatus. Most likely a consequence of Prohibition, the original 1917 recipe disappeared until 1995, when a Seelbach hotel manager rediscovered it. While carrying the punch of two types of bitters, Angostura and Peychaud, the drink is rounded with fragrant orange flavors, and finished with an effervescent float of Champagne.
This recipe was developed by Frank Bonanno, chef-owner of the Green Russell bar in Denver, Colorado. He explains: "With a nod to our favorite Colorado spirits company, we use Leopold whiskey, Domaine De Canton, fresh lime, and Prosecco, topped with Fernet Branca. It's a beautifully layered and balanced cocktail, refreshing to drink, with bit of a kick, and lovely to behold."