Suburban Cocktail

Named after the Suburban Handicap horse race held in the Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay during the 1800s, the Suburban Cocktail comes to us via the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book. It was meant to celebrate men such as James R Keene who made their riches in stocks and owned a number of horses.


1 1/2 oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey

1/2 oz Jamaican Rum

1/2 oz port

dash of Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters

dash Bitter Truth Orange Bitters


  • stir with ice
  • strain into a cocktail glass
  • garnish with a orange twist

  • Comments

    steven saccoccio 26 Oct 2011
    5:38 pm

    Robert, I have heard you refer to those magnetic measuring cups and that they have some with the odd measurements.  Who makes them?  I use the the slanted OXO’s but those others look pretty good.  Thanks so much.

    Robert Hess 26 Oct 2011
    6:55 pm

    Steven, this set of jiggers is made by “Progressive International”, you can find more information about the jigger, and a link to it on here:

    Steven D. Lauria 28 Oct 2011
    5:16 am

    Hi Robert,

    Accoding to the good folks at BarSmarts…the Suburban Cocktail becomes a cooler by adding soda water.  Have you ever tried that…and is it tasty?

    Robert Hess 28 Oct 2011
    6:10 am

    To the best of my knowledge the definition of a “cooler” isn’t just adding soda to any drink. Typically it would be a drink made from spirit, citrus, sometimes a sweetener, a carbonated beverage of some sort (usually soda water, but ginger ale, tonic water, and sometimes lemon lime soda), served in a collins glass with ice. Another aspect that is common with the cooler is a rather fanciful garnish of a long spiral of citrus peel.


    Steven D. Lauria 28 Oct 2011
    7:57 am

    Thanks, Robert. I will take note of your fine answer.

    With deference to BarSmarts instructors…they were teaching Creating Cocktails, Alteration of Scale or Temperature, Stretching or Squeezing…and said that a Short Drink (one generally served straight up) sometimes can be turned into a Long Drink or Cooler…or vice versa.

    However, they did caution that the level of sweetness in a tall drink or cooler (in a tall glass of Collins glass) must be greater to accommodate dillution ... so a fuller flavored cocktail rather than a well-balanced cocktail is best for the stretch.

    For sure, they taught the sour-sweet-strong plus carbonated model…as in Tom or John Collins, Gin Fizz, Mojito…etcetera.

    SO…for the Suburban…I’m not sure how that would or could be turned into a Cooler with
    ingredients of rye, port, dark rum and bitters. 

    What do you think?  Could it be turned into a “Cooler” or “Tall” drink by adding some fresh lemon juice and a sweetener (like maybe simple syrup)?

    Robert Hess 28 Oct 2011
    8:10 am

    I think the lack of citrus and/or sweetener in the Suburban would make it a “not worth writing home about” cooler.

    A good way to think about this, is that a sure way to totally destroy an Old Fashioned, and turn it into something horrid, is to top it off with soda water. Essentially, topping off a Suburban isn’t too far from that, because both are “booze forward” drinks. Drinks like a Manhattan or a Martini would fall into the same category. But you also have to consider something like a gin and tonic, or an Americano, which do work well with soda/tonic, so its hard to find clear rules here.

    Small Screen Colin 28 Oct 2011
    8:17 am

    This discussion makes me wonder if there is a direct correlation between brown spirits being mixed with soda and clear spirits (like gin in a gin and tonic) or liqueurs or amaraos, etc. (like in an Americano) being mixed with soda and the bad/good effects therein.
    Now, surely there are those who enjoy a whiskey and soda. I am not one of them. I think it does not enhance the taste of a whiskey.
    What would a carbonated Suburban be like I wonder?

    Steven D. Lauria 28 Oct 2011
    8:30 am

    Groovy!  Thanks, Robert!! Makes sense to me!!!

    Americano (campari, sweet vermouth and club soda garnished with orange twist and built over ice in highball glass) works ... and I understand that the Count liked his Negroni (gin, campari, Italian sweet vermouth built over ice in an old-fashioned glass and garnished with an orange peel or orange slice) with 1-2 ounces of soda for an Americana.

    But I’ve never had the Americana and don’t know how tasty it is. I guess that will be left for a future episode.

    Again, thank you, Robert.

    Steven D. Lauria 28 Oct 2011
    10:08 am

    Postscript:  Yes, your Old Fasioned (simple syrup, Angostura bitters, expressed oils from orange peel, 2 ozs. bourbon, in an ice-filled—- half filled and stirred, then fully filled and stirred again—- Old Fashioned glass and garnished with a cherry) is superb…and an Old Fashioned with club soda is disappointing at best.

    Thank you, Robert.  I look forward to your episodes.  They are very good!

    steven saccoccio 2 Nov 2011
    2:00 pm

    Robert, thanks so much.  I found them on the link you gave me, for less than $8!  It qualified for “prime” 2 day delivery, meaning, I’ll have them for cocktails on Thursday!  Cinzano!

    Jan 3 Nov 2011
    11:58 am

    Hi, I recently found that orange bitters marries pretty well with apple juice (not one made from concentrate). I made a brunch cocktail with vodka and apple juice (like 1:3) with a dash of orange bitters and the result was very tasty. Then I wanted to turn the drink into a kind of appletini (or fruitini as I called it) and found it isn’t easy. Does anybody have any idea? I think that quality apple juice can be employed very well in cocktails (and apples are the fruit of the season), but I just can’t get it right. Different base spirit (rum maybe)? Or adding some lemon juice? What do you think? Thanks for any advice.

    Oh, now I realize my comment is not about suburban cocktail at all, sorry about that :-)

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