A tip from Wes and a little dig into a heretofore unnoticed DrinkBoy link revealed a "new" (to me, but undoubtedly old) cocktail that has been a favorite of mine since the first time I mixed one up.
This one starts with a good-quality Bourbon, with the underlying flavor coming from Liquore di Maraschino, a cherry liqueur from Italy. It's pronounced "ma-ras-KEE-no", not "marra-SHEE-no", like people do when they refer to the bright red cherries that garnish cocktails and ice cream sundaes. Liquore di Maraschino actually starts as a cherry brandy; it's a clear eau-de-vie distilled from the flesh and pits of Marasca cherries in Tuscany, and the pits give it a slightly bitter, nutty undertone. For me, the only Maraschino liqueur is the one made in Italy by Luxardo, which is of supremely high quality and is very inexpensive (I've written a longer review of Luxardo Liquore di Maraschino on epinions.com).
This drink gets its final boost from both Angostura and orange bitters. The latter was once common but is now increasingly difficult to find. Just about the only people still making them are the Fee Brothers in New York, and their product can be found at most fine spirits stores.
Do yourself a favor and seek out the ingredients for this drink, then try it. I'll bet you've never tasted anything like it, and if the reactions of my friends are any indication, I can just about guarantee that you'll love it.
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Chuck Taggart email chuck (at) gumbopages (dot) com