Widow’s Kiss

First published in George Kappler’s 1895 book of Modern American Drinks, the Widow’s Kiss is a beautifully complex assemblage of 4 simple ingredients. Kappler’s original recipe reads as:

Widow’s Kiss

“A mixing-glass half-full fine ice, two dashes of Angostura bitters, one-half a pony of yellow chartreuse, one-half a pony of Benedictine, one pony of apple brandy; shake well, strain into a fancy cocktail glass, and serve.”

If you choose to follow his original proportions a pony is equal to approximately 1 Ounce.

In the decades that have followed, bartenders tinkered with the proportions and we suggest that you do as well to tailor the drink to your own taste. We tried more than a few combinations and found the measures below better play to the contemporary palate, the outcome being a little drier and a little stronger. Cheers!

Widow’s Kiss (2)

In a shaker glass filled with ice add:

  • 2 Ounces of Apple Brandy (We used Laird’s 7-1/2 Year Old Applejack)
  • 1/2 Ounce Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1/2 Ounce Benedictine
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Stir gently to chill ~ strain into chilled stemmed cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry (optional).