Brooks didn’t name the drink. In fact, when he wrote about it to Chuck Taggart in 2003, it didn’t have a name at all—just a New Orleans heritage and a notable lack of being listed in any of the cocktail books. For something that was practically unknown a decade ago, the drink’s gained a wide circle of fans. Taggart tells the tale of its discovery here.
Some—such as Dale DeGroff, Ted Haigh, and Taggart himself—have offered smaller versions, but the original recipe was for about a quart of the stuff, made up at home and poured as needed. After whipping up a sample batch of this bitters-heavy cocktail, I went for the whole batch. Here’s how:
On the nights I want something stiffer than tea, more complex than whiskey alone, and about as easy as opening a bottle, I reach for my mother in law.
Mother in Law Cocktail2.5 tsp Peychaud’s Bitters
2.5 tsp Angostura Bitters
2.5 tsp Torani Amer (or vintage 78-proof Amer Picon)
1.5 oz Maraschino liqueur (Luxardo or Maraska)
1.5 oz Cointreau or high-quality orange Curaçao
1.5 oz simple syrup
One 750ml bottle bourbon
Combine ingredients thoroughly and pour into a clean one-quart bottle. To serve, pour three ounces into a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Stir for no less than thirty seconds, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a stemless cherry.