Weeski Cocktail - Courtesy of David Wondrich

Necessity can often be a wonderful inspiration. David Wondrich created this drink several years ago when he wanted to bring a bottle of pre-mixed Manhattans to a gathering of friends on Halloween. But his liquor cabinet was missing a few critical ingredients. Using what was at hand, he crafted a drink which focused on Jameson and Lillet, and the “Weeski” was born.


2 ounces irish whiskey

1 ounce Lillet Blanc

1/4 oz Cointreau

2 dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters


Stir with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.


Nick L. 16 Aug 2012
11:56 am

That was a very generous 1/4 oz pour of Cointreau, Robert. ;)

Edison 16 Aug 2012
12:36 pm

I need to order some more bitters and build my collection some more. So far I’ve focused on getting main spirits and liqueurs commonly used. I will surely try this one soon. Although Cointreau is expensive, it’s tough working around a budget.

Robert Hess 16 Aug 2012
12:53 pm

Nick… yeah, it does look like I got a little heavy handed there. Happens sometimes when I talk and pour :->

Edison… It’s hard to find a solid alternative to Cointreau that is much cheaper. This is a case of “you get what you pay for”. Early on I tried using various cheaper “triple secs”, and quickly found that it really does make a difference. As for bitters, there are several different “orange bitters” around, and they are all quite different. I suspect that any of them would work fine in this drink, although you’ll notice slight differences in the final result.


Edison 16 Aug 2012
12:57 pm

I know. Throughout all your videos I see you stress heavily the “you get what you paid for.” I will order a few more bitters from Kegworks and try the Vesper Cocktail! one of these days. Thanks for your response and great videos!

U-Place Mike 20 Aug 2012
4:49 pm

Robert and Edison,

Regarding a substitute for Cointreau, I have found that Patron Citronge is a great replacement for Cointreau.  It is superior to the run of the mill Triple Sec’s and it costs a lot less than Cointreau.  Your opinion would be appreciated, Robert.  Thanks!

Robert Hess 21 Aug 2012
10:03 am

There are a variety of upper end triple secs, Citronge, Combier, etc. that you may want to experiment with instead of Cointreau. Personally, I haven’t found anything yet that I recommend using instead of Cointreau. I find that Citronge has a flavor element in it that doesn’t quite work for me (but it is still far better than ordinary “triple sec”. I think Combier is better than Ctronge, but then it also costs about the same as Cointreau. In the end however, it is all about what you personally prefer. If possible, I’d recommend trying to do a blind taste test between the two, and even if Cointreau wins, determine for yourself if the difference was big enough to warrant paying the extra $$.

U-Place Mike 21 Aug 2012
11:32 am

Thanks Robert.  Just to clarify, I would prefer using Countreau but due to the OBSCENELY high cost of liquor here in WA (as you well know Robert) and the many cocktails out there that call for Cointreau I felt Citronge is a good compromise.  I am waiting for either friends or family to make a road trip to you know where so I can restock on Cointreau.

steve7500 3 Dec 2012
1:13 pm

I would never have believed that I would like this cocktail by watching the video or viewing the recipe. I have learned to love it ! I keep Irish Whiskey on hand now for this reason.
The cost of COINTREAU & CHARTREUSE have become ridiculous in Michigan with the latter costing over $60.00 a Bottle now up 15% from a few months ago. Very hard to work around this unless you have several cocktails that require these. I can’t spend $60 for a bottle of something I can only use in one or two drinks I really like.

AaronWalls 21 Jan 2016
6:03 pm

Looking for a smaller bottle of Lillet. I don’t enough for a 750 to keep. Can’t find a 375 anywhere like I can with vermouth. I’ve been told that Cocchi Americano (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocchi_Americano) is a comparable substitution. Is that true? And have you been able to find any in less than a fifth?

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