Cocktail of the Day: French Quarter

No, it’s not a New Orleans cocktail, despite its name, but it oughta be. Very French, deceptively simple with only two ingredients, but one of those wonderful examples of cocktail alchemy as the various flavor components of the ingredients play off each other. Although after one sip you might think this had been invented in the Crescent City in the 1930s, you’d be wrong; it was invented in 2004 by Robert “DrinkBoy” Hess of Seattle. Boy, do we like this one, Robert …

French Quarter
(created by Robert Hess, 2004)

2-1/2 ounces Cognac (or other brandy).
3/4 ounce Lillet (blanc).

Combine with cracked ice in a shaker or mixing glass.
Stir for no less than 30 seconds.

Garnish with half a lemon wheel.


If you’re anything like me (and I have what I consider to be a rather high tolerance for spirits), you’ll be rather well-buzzed after just one of these. Faites attention.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll also wonder what this might have tasted like with the original Kina Lillet, less flowery and more bitter before Lillet changed the formula i the 1970s. Try adding a tiny pinch (maybe 1/16 of a teaspoon) of quinine powder to the mixing glass before you stir.