Durra Cocktail

In this old-fashioned variation, Seattle bartender Chris Elford uses molasses-like sorghum syrup (called “durra” in northeastern Africa). According to Elford, sorghum syrup is rich and earthy and goes particularly well with spicy rye. Slideshow: Whiskey RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Cocktails 2015 



  • 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey

  • 1/2 ounce apple brandy

  • 1/4 ounce sorghum syrup (see Note)

  • 1 teaspoon smoky Islay Scotch, preferably Ardbeg 10-year

  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

  • Ice, plus 1 large cube for serving

  • 1 orange twist, for garnish

  • 1 to 3 brandied cherries skewered on a pick, for garnish


  1. In a mixing glass, combine the whiskey, brandy, sorghum syrup, Scotch and bitters. Fill the glass with ice, stir well and strain into a chilled rocks glass over the large ice cube. Pinch the orange twist over the drink and drop it in, then garnish with the skewered cherries.


Sorghum syrup: Mix 3/4 teaspoon sorghum syrup with 3/4 teaspoon hot water and let cool.

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