North Beacon Oyster’s Maine Revolvah

What’s In that cocktail?

Winter sips
Mon, 11/26/2018 - 4:15pm

    ROCKLAND — North Beacon Oyster’s pine state take on the classic San Francisco cocktail is the perfect sip for when the sun disappears too early and you want a companion who’ll listen to all of your dark secrets.

    "The Maine Revolvah is definitely a hearty drink,” said chef/owner Mike Mastronardi of North Beacon Oyster. “It’s a really simple cocktail and that’s the beauty of it, but it’s potent.”

    Sipped in a martini glass by a roaring fire, or as an elegant warm-up to a holiday cocktail party, this high-class cocktail goes slumming for street cred with one of its ingredients, Allen’s Coffee Brandy.

    An article in “Serious Eats” by writer Paul Clark, pinpoints the cocktail’s origins: “Introduced by San Francisco bartender Jon Santer around 2003, the Revolver was originally made with the rye-heavy Bulleit Bourbon (Bulleit, Revolver—get it?), which has a spicy spark that's accented with orange bitters and buffered by a dose of rich coffee liqueur.”

    “A friend of mine turned me on it, and originally it was bourbon mixed with coffee liqueur, but we adapted it with Allen’s because obviously, that’s Maine’s most popular alcohol,” said Mastronardi.

    Bulleit Rye is what rounds out the Revolvah’s  suppleness, along with Cointreau and orange bitters, which give it a sweet, citrusy top note. This contrasts with the swirling layers beneath, which hint at an old-time Sarsaparilla. And oranges— the dreaded obligatory fruit at the bottom of your Christmas stocking to give the illusion that there was a bigger toy lodged in the foot—are back in fashion for an adult drink, now that you know Santa never did care if you were naughty or nice.

    “The original cocktail was a little too rugged, so the Cointreau just balances it out,” said Mastronardi, who prefers not to shake the cocktail, but stir it instead.

    If you’re doing a winter-warm holiday cocktail party and want to try to recreate it, watch the video. Or stop by North Beacon Oyster and let them make one for you.

    • 3 oz. Bulleit Rye
    • 2 oz. Allen’s Coffee Brandy
    • ¾ oz. Cointreau
    • ½ tsp. or orange bitters
    •  a garnish of orange peel

    Don’t shake the cocktail, but just stir it over ice and pour into a martini glass.

    To see all of our past “What’s In That Cocktail” series (with video!), check out our resource page: The best craft cocktails in the Midcoast

    Kay Stephens can be reached at