camerons kick cocktail

Cameron’s Kick

  • Bright
  • Smoky
  • Nutty
  • Irish Whiskey
  • Scotch
  • Orgeat
  • Lemon

Let’s just get this out in the open: this cocktail is a strange one. It features two spirits that aren’t in any other cocktails on our menu. In fact, on their own, both Scotch and Irish whiskey aren’t known for their usefulness in an abundance of cocktails. That actually may be why this one works so well. Separately, the spirits struggle to balance in a cocktail, but, when paired, they work together in perfect harmony. Throw in a couple other special ingredients and you’ve got one of the more interesting cocktails.

About the Recipe

We don’t know much about where the Cameron’s Kick came from or who Cameron even was. It first shows up in Harry MacElhone’s legendary 1927 recipe book, Barflies and Cocktails. MacElhone was a Scottish bartender whose serious skills took him all around the world. He published one of his earliest cocktail books, Harry of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails (1921), while working at a London bar called Ciro’s. At one point, he also tended the bar at the Plaza Hotel in New York, but his true notoriety originates in the City of Light, Paris.

Cocktail History

In 1923, MacElhone purchased the New York Bar in Paris and slapped his name on the front of it. Harry’s New York Bar operates today as one of the oldest cocktail joints in all of Europe. MacElhone cleverly marketed his bar to the homesick American elite. Throughout the Jazz Age, you could find treasured authors and notorious drinkers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway sitting at Harry’s bar. So ubiquitous in mixology is Harry’s that it’s often listed as the birthplace of cocktails like the Sidecar, the Bloody Mary, and the French 75. These claims are dubious, but the hunger to place their origins at Harry’s is a testament to his sainted place in the cocktail world.

Throughout the Jazz Age, you could find treasured authors and notorious drinkers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway sitting at Harry’s bar.

Besides its unique two spirits, the Cameron’s Kick also hosts a unique mixer for our menu. Orgeat may seem like a strange word, but chances are you’ve encountered it at your favorite tiki bar. It’s an almond syrup that adds a nutty sweetness to a beverage. It’s the chief sweet component of the famous tiki mainstay, the Mai Tai. In both cocktails, orgeat gifts a kind of creamy texture to the glass without adding any actual cream.

The Cameron’s Kick is a unique and underrated cocktail of the 1920s. We only wish we knew which innovative Jazz Age bartender we have to thank for its creation!

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