Many of the best cocktails are made with ingredients that are tried and true for drinks but otherwise largely ignored. Take molasses, for example. That jar of rich, dark syrup sitting in the back of your cabinet is just begging to be used. While gingerbread cookies and baked beans are two great ways to let your molasses see the light of day, it can also add a unique, smoky undertone to a stiff drink.
It takes roughly 100 gallons of boiled-down sugar cane juice to make 10-15 gallons of molasses. Even with all that work, for much of American history it was far more popular than it is today. While you can still find molasses in most stores, the mass-produced version, often the byproduct of crystallized sugar, doesn’t have quite the same flavor as the homemade jars found at farmers markets and roadside stands. Definitely don’t go stockpiling molasses thinking you can use it in everything as a substitute sweetener. Despite its sugary origins, store-bought molasses can be quite bitter (and has a tendency to drip everywhere).
Given the potency of molasses, you’ll need strong liquors to balance it out. Dark, woody spirits like bourbon pair well with molasses, as do smoky mezcals. And like other thick syrups used in cocktails, consider thinning it out with water to make measuring easier.
Our molasses cocktail, known as a Two-Boil Flip, includes a few easy-to-find but nonetheless unexpected ingredients, such as a whole egg. Enjoy.
- 2 oz. Old Forester 100-proof bourbon
- 3/4 oz. molasses (diluted)
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. St. George Nola Coffee Liqueur
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- 1 whole egg
- Grated nutmeg
To dilute the molasses, pour equal parts molasses and water into a measuring cup, and stir to combine. Then mix all the ingredients in a shaker with one ice cube and shake hard for 20-30 seconds. Open the shaker and fill remaining space with ice. Shake the drink hard for an additional 20-30 seconds. Strain into cocktail glass, or sour glass, and top with grated nutmeg.