Carmen Amaya


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Carmen Amaya

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Ingredients (8)

  • 5 fresh, blemish-free basil leaves, plus 1 leaf for garnish
  • 3/4 ounce amontillado sherry
  • 1 1/2 ounces Old Overholt rye
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • Dash orange bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange twist, for garnish


Jordan Mackay, who wrote The Juice column for us, has also worked as a bartender at San Francisco’s Cantina, where he created this refined cocktail.

What to buy: Amontillado sherry is a medium sherry that has a slightly nutty flavor. It can be found at most liquor stores.

Rye is considered to be the first American whiskey, but it tends not to be as popular as other whiskeys. There are a number of high-end ryes available at good liquor stores, but Jordan uses Old Overholt here.

When a recipe calls for orange bitters, we turn to Regan’s brand; it can be found at specialty liquor stores. Or you can make your own.


  1. 1Chill one (6-ounce) cocktail glass.
  2. 2In a cocktail shaker, combine basil and sherry and muddle until leaves are bruised and slightly broken up. Add rye, lemon juice, Cointreau, and bitters. Fill the shaker with ice. Close the shaker and shake vigorously 20 times.
  3. 3Strain into the chilled glass, garnish with basil leaf or orange twist, and serve.
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