The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess

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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