This Cocktail Is Made with 26 Ingredients and Tastes Like Ricola Cough Drops (In a Good Way)
A cocktail made with 26 ingredients somehow tastes completely unlike a Long Island Iced Tea. This isn’t your classic four-ingredient Old Fashioned, or even a daring eight-ingredient Zombie. In this version of a 26-ingredient cocktail (maybe the only version), every spirit, bitter, and digestif must start with a different letter of the alphabet. Twenty-six ingredients, 26 letters. It’s called the A-Z cocktail. Get it?
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This gimmick—an impressive one, to be sure—was thought up by Bompas & Parr, a London culinary design studio that has also brought breathable alcohol and collagen gin into existence. It is debuting at the W New York hotel in Times Square on January 28, available at the bar and in little bottles in some room mini-bars.
“It would be all too easy to randomly combine a minibar’s worth of ingredients and make something undrinkable. The challenge here was to create something beyond novelty for its own sake and end up with a balanced drink,” says Harry Parr, co-founder of Bompas & Parr and the cocktail’s creator.
The A-Z cocktail, modeled after a traditional rum punch recipe, is like the high-brow mixologist version of taking an extra large McDonald’s soft drink cup and filling it up with a healthy push of each soda available, from Dr. Pepper to Hi-C. It tastes similar to liquified Ricola cough drops, herbal and honeyed. Mostly, it’s syrupy sweet. But over lots of rocks, it’s kind of nice, like drinking root beer after school, but with 45 percent ABV.
The 26-ingredient list pulls spirits from across the world, hitting Italy for vermouth, Guyana for two types of rum, the U.S. for orange bitters and Puerto Rican rum, and more. By our tally, that’s seven rums (and one rhum), seven liqueurs, three cognacs, two bitters, two apertifs, one mezcal, one vermouth, one gin, and one cachaça.
“The idea with mixing so many rums is to get a more intriguing flavor profile than what you might be able to achieve with a simple serve,” Parr says.
Here’s the full list:
Bompas & Parr
1 dash A – Angostura Bitters (Trinidad)
0.2 oz B – Botran Solera Rum (Guatemala)
0.1 oz C – Cointreau Liqueur (France)
0.2 oz D – Diplomatico Rum (Venezuela)
0.2 oz E – El Dorado 12 Year Old Rum (Guyana)
0.2 oz F – Frapin Cognac (France)
0.1 oz G – Grand Marnier Liqueur (France)
0.2 oz H – Havana Club Añejo Rum (Puerto Rico, U.S.)
0.2 oz I – Ilegal Mezcal (Guatemala)
0.2 oz J – J.M. Rhum (Martinique)
0.1 oz K – Kamm & Sons Apertif (U.K.)
0.2 oz L – Louis Royer VSOP Cognac (France)
0.2 oz M – Martell VS Cognac (France)
0.2 oz N – Nine Leaves Rum (Japan)
0.2 oz O – Old Vatted Demerara Rum (Guyana)
0.1 oz P – Pimento Dram Liqueur (Germany)
0.1 oz Q – Quagli Berto Rosso Vermouth (Italy)
1 dash R – Regan’s Orange Bitters (U.S.)
0.2 oz S – Sipsmith Sloe Gin (U.K.)
0.1 oz T – Tipples British Fruit Liqueurs (U.K.)
1 dash U – Underberg Herbal Tonic (Germany)
0.1 oz V – Velvet Falernum
0.2 oz W – Wray & Nephew Rum (Jamaica)
0.1 oz X – Xante Pear Liqueur (France)
0.2 oz Y – Yaguara Cachaça (Brazil)
0.1 oz Z – Zoco Pacharán Liqueur (Spain)
To enjoy, combine all ingredients and stir, then serve neat or over cubed or crushed ice. (Definitely go for the ice.) Garnish the cocktail with a lime wedge, pineapple leaves, or mint and flaming sugar cubes. But first, make sure to raid the bar cart. Chances are you’ll be missing an ingredient, or 25.