The Kentucky River Cocktail: Reinventing the Old Fashioned with Chocolate and Fruit Notes

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail that epitomizes the essence of mixology – a blend of spirits, sugar, bitters, and ice. It’s a drink that has stood the test of time, revered for its simplicity and elegance. However, the beauty of the Old Fashioned lies in its versatility, providing a canvas for creative reinterpretations. One such innovative twist is the Kentucky River Cocktail, a creation of the Rosina at the Palazzo in Las Vegas.

Kentucky River Cocktail

Kentucky River Cocktail Recipe

The Kentucky River Cocktail offers a delightful variation on the classic Old Fashioned. Originating from the Rosina at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, this cocktail blends the traditional bourbon base with the rich sweetness of creme de cacao and the fruity notes of peach bitters. The result is a drink that's both familiar and refreshingly new, perfect for those who enjoy a sweeter, more indulgent twist on classic cocktails. Its chocolate and fruit undertones make it an excellent choice for an after-dinner treat or a luxurious sipper for a relaxed evening.

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Prep Time 4 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes

Ingredients - What's in it?


  • lemon twist

Adjust Servings 1 serving

Instructions - How to make it:

  • Add the bourbon, creme de cacao, and bitters into a double Old Fashioned glass with a large 2-inch ice cube.
  • Stir until well-chilled.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 4g | Iron: 0.02mg

Course Beverage, Cocktail, Drinks
Cuisine Beverage, Cocktail, Drinks
Keyword Beverage, Cocktail, Drink

A Sweeter, Richer Take on a Classic

The Kentucky River deviates from the traditional Old Fashioned recipe, offering a sweeter and richer experience. It starts with a bourbon base, the cornerstone of many Old Fashioneds. The Rosina uses Buffalo Trace bourbon, but the recipe is flexible enough to accommodate your favorite bourbon or even a rye whiskey for an added kick.

The Unique Blend of Flavors

What sets the Kentucky River apart is its method of sweetening. Instead of the usual simple syrup or sugar cube, this cocktail employs a half-ounce of creme de cacao. This chocolatey liqueur infuses the drink with a creamy, rich sweetness, adding a layer of complexity. Complementing this is the use of peach bitters instead of the traditional Angostura. The peach bitters enhance the fruity aspect of the cocktail, creating a harmonious blend with the chocolate notes from the creme de cacao.

Approach and Tips:

  • Approach: The Kentucky River Cocktail is about embracing the sweetness and richness in a cocktail, offering a luxurious twist to the classic Old Fashioned.
  • Tips:
    • Bourbon Selection: While Buffalo Trace is recommended, feel free to experiment with different bourbons or even rye whiskey.
    • Balance of Flavors: Adjust the amount of creme de cacao and peach bitters to find the perfect balance between sweetness and fruitiness.