It’s been described as “the first and best cocktail of the 21st century to push the boundaries of classic tiki,” and also, much more simply, as “a hell of a good drink.” It’s the Winchester (and the Double Barrel Winchester) and we’re getting into it with creator and returning friend of the show, Brian Miller.
Before diving head first into the tiki world, Miller earned his stripes at a number of pioneering cocktail bars like Death and Co. and the Pegu Club. Though, upon reading a New York Times quote from tiki legend Jeff “Beachbumb” Berry that read, “You can’t get a decent Zombie in NYC,” Miller thought: “Challenge accepted.” Using fellow bartender Phil Ward’s “Mr. Potato Head” method of cocktail creation, he set out to swap the Zombie’s multi-rum base with a blend of gins. From there, he made a few changes to the drink’s supporting cast, adding St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, grapefruit juice, and ginger syrup to bolster the floral botanicals of the many gins. The result was the Winchester, named after Miller’s friend and Tanqueray brand ambassador Angus Winchester.
Miller’s gin choices have fluctuated over time, leading to the creation of his equally potent concoction, the Double Barrel Winchester, which adds a fourth gin to the mix and changes up the other ones at work, minus the mainstay Miller’s Westbourne Strength. And like most tiki drinks, both cocktails have a laundry list of ingredients. Thankfully, today we’re embarking on a deep dive into this gin-tiki modern classic, along with some St-Germain high praise and a chat about the late Murray Stenson. It’s all right here on the “Cocktail College” podcast. Tune in for more.
Brian Miller’s Double Barrel Winchester Recipe
- 1 ounce Monkey 47 gin
- 1 ounce Miller’s Westbourne Strength gin
- ½ ounce Perry’s Tot gin
- ½ ounce Greenhook Ginsmith Old Tom gin
- ¾ ounces lime juice
- ¾ ounce grapefruit juice
- ½ ounce grenadine
- ½ ounce ginger syrup
- ½ ounce St-Germain
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- Garnish: dehydrated grapefruit wedge
- Add all ingredients to a blender with a cup of crushed ice.
- Blend until ice is completely incorporated and the drink is cold.
- Pour into a tiki glass and top with crushed ice if necessary.
- Garnish with a dehydrated grapefruit wedge.