Cocktail – Kevin’s Double Nickel

I turned 55 yesterday. Mid-life, right?

We celebrated with a late-summer feast of Joe’s Kansas City BBQ in the backyard. There was plenty of meat of course. More than a few bottles of red wine as well.

I also wanted to kick off the evening with a cocktail, so why not a signature cocktail to commemorate the event? Going from summer to fall meant picking ingredients that represent that transition. I knew that I wanted to use my hometown favorite whiskey – J. Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey. And there was a bottle of China-China liqueur whispering to me from the bar cabinet.

China-China (pronounced keen-keena) is a wonderful liqueur made from a blend of sweet and bitter orange peels macerated in sugar-beet-based neutral alcohol and redistilled in alembic stills, along with 4 plants seeds and spices. It’s great for sipping – especially in the cold, wintery, plague-filled months. This felt like the secret, transition ingredient I was looking for.

As I’m better at drinking cocktails than designing them I reached out to one of Kansas City’s best bartenders, (also bar owner and luxury ice magnate) Brock Schulte. After telling him what I was up to and giving him the two ingredients I wanted to build from he offered up the following recipe:

Kevin’s Double Nickel

  • 1.5 oz bourbon (I’m using J. Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey)
  • 0.75 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz China-China
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white (creates the nice foam on top of the drink)

Add all ingredients and a generous scoop of ice to a cocktail shaker.
Shake hard and double strain.

Pour into a pre-chilled glass of your choice.

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