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The Diamondback cocktail is a combination of three distinct spirits – rye whiskey, applejack, and yellow Chartreuse.
The Diamondback cocktail is not named after the snake but rather takes its name from the charming small turtles, commonly called terrapins, found in the waters of Maryland. These turtles serve, since 1932, as the inspiration for the mascot of the University of Maryland’s school, and is also the Maryland State Reptile.
The Diamondback Cocktail achieved widespread recognition when it first appeared in print in Ted Saucier’s influential cocktail book, “Bottoms Up” published in 1951. Saucier, a seasoned connoisseur of the cocktail world, documented a plethora of classic and innovative libations, providing readers with a window into the glamorous and sophisticated era of mid-20th-century drinking culture. Saucier credited the creation of this cocktail to the eponymous lounge at the Lord Baltimore Hotel.
The backbone of this cocktail is rye whiskey, a bold and spicy spirit that forms the basis for many classic cocktails. The choice of rye whiskey imparts a robust character to the Diamondback, setting it apart from its bourbon-based counterparts.
Adding to the complexity of flavors is applejack, a quintessentially American spirit derived from apple cider. The applejack contributes a touch of sweetness and fruity notes to the Diamondback, complementing the spice of the rye whiskey. This combination of rye and applejack forms the core of the cocktail, laying the foundation for a well-balanced and flavorful experience.
However, we think that the pièce de résistance in the Diamondback Cocktail is undoubtedly the inclusion of yellow Chartreuse. This herbal liqueur brings a botanical depth and a hint of herbal complexity to the mix. The interplay of the spicy rye, fruity applejack, and herbaceous Chartreuse creates a layered and nuanced flavor profile that evolves with each sip.
The Diamondback’s flavor profile is a testament to the artistry of mixology, where each ingredient plays a crucial role in achieving a well-balanced cocktail.
45 ml rye whiskey
22.5 ml applejack
22.5 ml yellow Chartreuse
Garnish: Luxardo maraschino cherry
Add the rye whiskey, applejack, and yellow Chartreuse into a mixing glass.
Add ice and stir for 5-10 seconds. until chilled.
Strain into a Nick and Nora glass.
Garnish with a Luxardo maraschino cherry.