The French Connection cocktail—a simple mix of cognac and amaretto—is viewed through a Tiki lens in this split-base riff from Nick Ruiz of Patent Pending, a tiny powerhouse of a cocktail den hidden away behind a coffee shop in New York City’s Flatiron District.

In tropical cocktails like the classic Mai Tai almond-based orgeat is traditionally used to pull out the fruit and earthy qualities of cane spirits. For the almond-averse, Ruiz drew inspiration from the 1830’s cocktail Banana Bliss. Cognac shares the spotlight with an aged rum—in this case an agricole distilled from fresh pressed cane juice. Bonus: This recipe can be premixed, bottled and gifted, or stored in the freezer, ready to pour over a rock.

Featured in “Split-Base Cocktails Take Your Favorite Bottles to the Next Level.”

Yield: makes 1 cocktail
Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 oz. Rhum Agricole Ambre
  • 1 oz. Cognac or other aged brandy
  • ¼ oz. banana liqueur
  • ¼ oz. pimento liqueur
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Wide strip of orange peel


  1. Fill a chilled rocks glass with ice, then add the rhum, Cognac, banana and pimento liqueurs, and bitters. Stir until well-chilled, about 15 seconds, then garnish with an orange twist, and serve.