So there’s some history to this cocktail.
First off, for the last couple years I’ve become a sucker anytime I see a cocktail on a menu with coffee and banana.
This usually means they’re using the phenomenal Banane du Brasil, and either cold brew, a concentrate or some other kind of coffee liqueur.
If coffee and banana sounds like a weird combo? Well, you’d be right, it does sound weird. But tastes delicious.
Now, about 5 years ago I discovered a drink in Portland that was one of my all time favorites.
It was at a cocktail spot downtown called Barlow, and the drink was named the “Blackjack.”
All I remember about it was that it had mezcal, cold brew, and….olive oil, among other things.
Sounds even weirder than banana – but this thing was so good.
The problem is, despite the fact Barlow is still around and they have a rolodex of their previous drinks no one there remembers the Blackjack.
I ask every time I go in, and they just look at me like I’m crazy. But I even have an old vlog as proof that it does exist.
Fast forward to today.
I’ve wanted to create me own homage to this drink, while also marrying some of my current tastes.
I’ve been pretty lucky with a lot of my original drinks in that they’ve been pretty damn solid after just a couple times experimenting with them.
This one took….some finessing.
I almost called it the “Kitchen Sink” because it felt like I was throwing so much in there. But each piece of it played a role – or at least it does now, now that I’ve got it to a place I’m happy with.
What is the Blackjack Redux Coffee Cocktail?
So while being a really simple cocktail to make, the ingredients don’t necessarily sound like they work. The final product is pretty similar to what I’ve been doing all along, but as with many good drinks, the devil is in the details.
Here are the ingredients:
- Cold Brew Coffee
- Banane du Brasil
- Smith and Cross Rum
- Bittermans Xocolati Mole Bitters.
Originally I’d been playing with adding a quarter ounce of green chartreuse, because it seemed totally weird, yet kind of worked…buuuuuut didn’t really work.
So I tried to pair it back and think about the goal of each ingredient.
I knew I wanted mezcal, cold brew, and Banane du Brasil for the reasons I mentioned above.
Smith and Cross always pairs well with the banana, and the Mezcal for that matter so I figured that would work well. Now that I think about it, I shouldn’t be surprised this works, as there’s certainly some similarities with this to one of my signature drinks: the Smoking Banana.
And the bitterness from the Cynar really seemed to bring everything together and rounded out the drink.
But what about those details I mentioned?
Well there are 3 things I tweaked from the original recipe that really made this thing a game changer.
- Dropped the Green Chartreuse. I know, that was weird.
- Added a dropper of Bitterman’s Xocolati Mole Bitters for some awesome cinnamon and spice hints
- Expressed lemon over the top
You don’t usually expect bitters and a garnish to totally make a drink, but in this case – it does.
The lemon isn’t quite as essential as it is in the Atlas Martini, but the bitters and the lemon truly pushed this over the edge.
When I first tasted it, I literally said out loud to myself “YES, this is it!”
This isn’t a cocktail where you can pinpoint every specific ingredient very easily. Rather they all combine harmoniously into a smooth, sweet, and slightly bitter sipper with that mole kick.
How to Make the Blackjack Redux Cocktail
Fortunately, aside from needing a few pretty specific ingredients, this is a really easy drink to make.
Here’s how to do it.
Blackjack Redux (A Coffee Cocktail)
- Mixing Glass
- Bar Spoon
- Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 oz Cold Brew Coffee
- 1 oz Mezcal
- .5 oz Jamaican Rum I recommend Smith and Cross
- .5 oz Cynar
- .5 oz Banane du Brasil
- 1 Dropper Bitterman's Xocolatl Mole Bitters
- Combine all ingredients in mixing glass
- Add ice and stir for 30 seconds
- Strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass
- Express lemon over drink and garnish with peel
Other Drinks You Might Like
I’ve mentioned in the past how I try and create recipes on this blog that use some similar ingredients. This way, if you go invest 30 bucks on a bottle, you’ll have a few different potential drinks you can make with it.
This is no exception. Here are a few other drinks that use similar ingredients to the Blackjack Redux:
- Smoking Banana – Mezcal, Jamaican Rum, Banana. What’s not to like?
- Dockside Rum Old Fashioned – This uses the Smith and Cross and the Mole bitters and is another one of our “signature drinks”
- Artsy Bird – A negroni variation that uses Cynar and Doctor Bird rum, but you can just as easily switch that out for Smith and Cross.
- Bananerac Cocktail – A banana sazerac that sounds weird but tastes delicious.