The Red Headed Stranger Cocktail Recipe Photo

The Red Headed Stranger Cocktail Recipe

In Cocktails by 1 Comment


I’m married to a red head and have a red headed daughter so the title of this cocktail definitely got my attention. Submitted by Rachel Dean (a.k.a. Ginny Tonic) as her sample contributor blog post, I think it makes a nice addition to our line up of bourbon cocktail recipes. Check it out and let us know if you think Ginny’s got what it takes to represent Cincinnati and become a regular contributor to Bourbon & Banter.


The Red Headed Stranger Cocktail Recipe Photo It was a very rainy 4th of July in my part of the country and as the day wore on it became increasingly clear that any fireworks I was going to get would have to come from a glass.  I decided to make myself one of my favorite cocktails from a taco and whiskey bar here in Cincinnati called Bakersfield.

If you are ever in Cincinnati I do recommend that you stop by Bakersfield. They have expensive tacos and cheap bourbon (Friday is $3 shots of Four Roses) and in my book that is a winning combination. The focus is on the food, but Bakersfield has a nice selection of American whiskey, tequila, and handful of house cocktails that are very nicely crafted to complement the food. Even though no one has gotten them to share the recipe for the queso dip, they do share some of the cocktail recipes on postcards you can pick up at the bar.

That is how I came to have the recipe for the Red Headed Stranger. This drink brings together three different kinds of fire into one delicious drink. Ginger and bourbon are a great combination but in this drink the addition of cayenne pepper throws a sharp left hook into the mix. It is a spicy cocktail but because each kind of burn comes from very different sources the flavors compliment each other rather than building to an uncomfortable burn.

Here is the recipe so you can have a night with a red headed stranger in your home.

The Red Headed Stranger Cocktail Recipe Photo

Bakersfield’s Red Headed Stranger

  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 squeeze of lemon
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 2 oz Wild Turkey
  • 1 oz Domaine de Canton

Add the pepper, lemon, and bitters to the bottom of a shaker and stir to dissolve the pepper. Fill the shaker with ice and add the Wild Turkey and Domaine de Canton and shake until cold. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass and garnish with a piece of candied ginger. 






About the Author

Ginny Tonic

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Although Ginny was a late bloomer to the world of drinking she likes to think she’s making up for lost time. She had my first manhattan at the age of 24 and fell in love. Finally, there was a drink she felt cool ordering and actually liked the taste of. Bourbon is her drink of choice and where she geeks out the most, but she honestly enjoys all aspects of drinking. The way it brings people together, the way it combines art, science, and culture, the way a nice drink at the end of the day can make the world seem so much better than it did a few minutes before. When she’s not writing for Bourbon & Banter, she writes for Queen City Drinks and co-hosts two podcasts: an hour long culture podcast called The Charlie Tonic Hour and a shorter all alcohol show called Bottoms Up. She is also the owner and lead guide for Tonic Tours, where they offer small group alcohol-based tours that focus on craft producers as well as hosting classes, tasting and other events.

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