Buffalo Bill Cody's Bourbon Cocktail

apple drinkIt’s the early 20th century in Denver Colorado and Buffalo Bill Cody is not the man he used to be. He’s frequently sick, weak and just a shadow of the scout and frontier hero that’d been touring the world in the previous two decades with his famous circus.

His sister is in Denver, and he frequents the town whenever he can. He has a lot of friends in the area, including retired scout and Pony Express rider, Shorty Scout Zietz.

Zietz at the time is the proprietor of a saloon called the Buckhorn Exchange (which is still there), and Cody makes a stop there whenever he can. His health being what it is—meaning, it’s lousy—his doctors recommend he stop drinking.

He argues, of course—that’s what the western heroes do when someone tells them to stop drinking—and eventually his doctors acquiesce and tell him to limit his alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day.

Noting his doctors’ advice he asks Zietz for a mix of bourbon casino and hard apple cider in a tall glass. This “one” drink (amounting to about 2-3 cocktails by today’s standards) becomes his usual.

And it earns a name. The Buffalo Bill Cody Cocktail. The Buckhorn Exchange still serves it today. It’s an easy drink to make:

-2 measures bourbon

-2 measures apple cider (or apple juice depending on how potent you want it)

Stir with ice and serve.

It’s a simple drink to be sure, but it has a great history behind it. And sometimes that’s really what makes a cocktail worth drinking. Cheers!

Below, Chris Murray mixes the drink for Clint.

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