Left Hand Cocktail

Left Hand Cocktail
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The Left Hand Cocktail stands as a testament to the genius of Sam Ross, a visionary bartender who redefined the boundaries of cocktail culture through his unique innovative mind. Born from a blend of classic influences (such as the Boulevardier and Negroni) and inventive techniques, the Left Hand Cocktail showcases Ross’s mastery of flavor balance and his ability to create a timeless cocktail that has garnered worldwide recognition.

Sam Ross, a bartender hailing from New Zealand, emerged as a leading figure in the contemporary cocktail renaissance during the early 21st century. With a background rooted in the classics and an insatiable curiosity for experimenting with new ingredients and techniques, Ross gained recognition for his ability to reinvent old favorites while preserving their core essence. His inventive approach to mixology was instrumental in shaping the modern cocktail landscape, and the Left Hand Cocktail remains one of his most celebrated creations.

The Left Hand Cocktail made its debut at New York City’s renowned bar, Milk & Honey, where Sam Ross was employed as a bartender. It was during his time there that Ross sought to craft a drink that would pay homage to the classic cocktail known as the Negroni while infusing it with his unique twist. The result was the Left Hand Cocktail, a sophisticated and well-balanced drink that immediately captivated the palates of patrons.

At the heart of the Left Hand Cocktail lies an ingenious blend of ingredients: bourbon, sweet vermouth, Campari, and a hint of chocolate bitters. The bourbon whiskey’s robustness is softened by the sweetness of the vermouth and the bitter complexity of Campari. The addition of chocolate bitters introduces a subtle, unexpected layer of depth that sets the Left Hand Cocktail apart from its predecessors.

What truly elevates the Left Hand Cocktail is Ross’s methodical approach to its preparation. The drink is stirred with ice to achieve the ideal dilution and chilling, resulting in a well-balanced and silky-smooth texture. This technique underscores Ross’s commitment to perfecting every aspect of his craft, from ingredient selection to presentation.

The Left Hand Cocktail, with its nuanced flavors and impeccable execution, quickly garnered a devoted following within the cocktail community and beyond. Ross’s creation exemplified the potential of bridging tradition and innovation, providing a blueprint for aspiring mixologists to create contemporary classics that pay homage to the past while embracing the present.

Beyond the immediate impact on cocktail culture, the Left Hand Cocktail solidified Sam Ross’s reputation as a trailblazer in the industry. His dedication to refining techniques, experimenting with flavors, and pushing the boundaries of mixology has inspired countless bartenders to pursue excellence and creativity in their craft.

Left Hand Cocktail Recipe

  1. 45 ml bourbon

  2. 22.5 ml Campari

  3. 22.5 ml sweet vermouth

  4. 2 dashes of chocolate bitters

  5. Ice

  6. Garnish: brandied cherry

left hand cocktail recipe

How to Make a Left Hand Cocktail

  1. Add the bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth, and chocolate bitters into a mixing glass, and add ice.

  2. Stir well, until chilled.

  3. Strain into a coupe glass.

  4. Garnish with a brandied cherry, and serve.