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Friday Cocktail: Fontainebleau

The Fontainebleau Special

In the mood for something a little different, try the Fontainebleau.

One night, upon deciding to have a cocktail and considering the ingredients I had on hand, I stumbled across the Fontainebleau in the Old Mr. Boston Deluxe Official Bartender’s Guide 1974 edition. Officially the drink is referred to as the Fontainebleau Special. It doesn’t appear in the previous 1964 edition of the Old Mr. Boston guide I have, suggesting it appeared on the scene in the late 1960s.

Now, not everyone’s a fan of anise-flavored liqueurs like Anisette, but blended with this drink’s ingredients makes that liquorice-like taste barely noticeable. Yet there’s something about this drink that appeals to the sophisticated palate.

Over the course of several months, I tried this cocktail several times, running out of ingredients, and trying some substitutions. The recipe is fairly easy and it lends itself to some interesting variations.

What you’ll need:  Dry Vermouth, Cognac (or Brandy), and Anisette

In a shaker over cracked ice, pour in one ounce each of cognac (or brandy) and anisette. Add in a half ounce of dry vermouth. Shake and then strain into a martini glass. This recipe can easily be doubled to suit today’s typical serving sizes so long as the proportions are maintained.

How I like it:  My preference is to use a cognac, like Courvoisier, along with the dry vermouth and anisette. Now, in the absence of anisette, Galliano is an excellent substitute. So much so that I add a splash of it to my Fontainebleaus. This is just one of the variations I tried. When I ran out of the Courvoisier, I switched to an apricot brandy. I don’t recommended flavored brandies for this drink though. You could also switch out the cognac for a favorite whiskey (Crown Royal works rather well), but technically that would make it a different drink altogether.

Before trying any variations, be sure to use your favorite cognac (or brandy) and give this one a try.

Drink responsibly!

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3 Responses

  1. Is it named after the hotel in Miami? I think this would be too strong a taste for me. Besides I do not have any of the ingredients. Looking forward to more cocktails.

  2. I ALWAYS enjoy your cocktails; even thought I usually do not have most of the ingredients you use! Anytime, you want to “practice” I’m always available for a “tasting”!!

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