The Kingston Club

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The Kingston Club

One advantage I have in my career – and believe me, I thank my lucky stars every day for my good fortune in this regard – is that I travel a lot. And when I do travel, I get to visit the greatest bars in the world and spend time picking the brains of the world’s greatest bartenders.

The most recent drink to grace our cocktail list is the result of my travels.

Taking inspiration from many sources, my initial interest in bitter, sour and sweet with a distinctly tropical bent was taken directly from the ever-brilliant Giuseppe Gonzalez and his now-famous Trinidad Sour.

While I, and the rest of the world, was taken by the combination of bitter, herbal, sweet flavors, it never really struck me as a an extensible sort of drink style until I came across Andrew Bohrer’s amaro-based Mai Tai variation called the “Elena’s Virtue”. Now here was a drink with legs, and a hint of what was to come in the world of cocktails, in my humble opinion.

But what New York and Seattle do well, San Francisco often does better, and usually with a lot more Fernet Branca, and that’s the conversation I had with Josh Harris while competing in the Domaine de Canton finals in St. Maarten this spring. And after tasting his simple concoction of ginger liqueur, pineapple and Fernet Branca I knew it was time for me to get my feet wet and try my hand at the herbal tropical sour.

The Kingston Club

The result has been a smash hit at the bar, as it very much follows in the style of our restaurant bar, a reflection of the crafted European style of cooking that emerges from the kitchen on a nightly basis. In other words, earthy, sour, herbal flavors do very, very well where we work.

Put all of this together, throw in a desire to explore the dusty, neglected bottle of Drambuie, and an early morning racking one’s brain to come up with a drink name (the original intent was Brixton Club) and a star was born.

The Kingston Club on Hangin’ With Harris

I made the Kingston Club for Billy Harris and the Small Screen Network, and we got to goof around together behind the bar for a bit. Click below to watch it!


Kingston Club Print Me

  • 1½ oz/45 ml Drambuie
  • 1½ oz/45 ml pineapple juice
  • ¾ oz/22.5 ml lime juice
  • 1 tsp/5 ml Fernet Branca
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Chilled soda water
  1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake with ice until cold
  3. Add 1 oz soda water to contents of the shaker
  4. Strain mix over fresh ice into a chilled collins glass
  5. Garnish with an orange twist

Recipe printed courtesy of

25 Replies to “The Kingston Club”

  • Chris Breslin says:

    Guess I’m a little late to the game but just tried the Kingston Club last night. Absolutely delicious Mr. Morgenthaler! I tried to resist the urge to tinker with this masterpiece, but my curiousity got the best of me. Not sure if you tried this when creating the kingston Club, but i added a teaspoon of Maraschino Liqueur. Being as assertive as it is, i brought it down to half a teaspoon and found that to be perfect. I think it takes the drink to another level; making it slightly more tropical. No insult was intended as the drink is perfect your way; i just have a hard time leaving well enough alone!!

  • Andres says:

    I try it with Amargo Obrero(an Argentinian bitter) and its taste really good! also with fernet branca! im offering to my customers at the bar! well done!
    cheers bro! for more cocktails
    also this cocktail give me inspiration for my bacardi legacy cocktail competition, trying new tastes..salud!

  • Patrick says:

    Amazing!Jeffrey, I am a bartender in China, do you mind if i translate your words and recipe into chinese and post online so that chinese bartenders can have a chance to embrace this beautiful drink?

  • Michael Blosser says:

    Finally got around to making this cocktail. Delicious!!

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