June celebrations (weddings, Father’s Day, graduations) are great fun. But then come the after-dinner speeches. You need something with heft to get through them. Preferably something that pairs well with dessert.
Enter the Golden Cadillac, a cocktail that was created to celebrate a newly engaged couple. And their car (more history in the notes).
But for now, cheers!
Recipe: The Golden Cadillac Cocktail
This drink combines equal amounts of Galliano L’Autentico liqueur, white crème de cacao, and heavy cream. So it’s basically a Galliano version of a Brandy Alexander Cocktail. Or a Gin Alexander.
The Golden Cadillac is quite sweet, so we prefer to serve is as an after-dinner or dessert drink. It’s the perfect accompaniment to cake! Or you could sip it as an afternoon relaxer with cookies on the side.
This recipe serves 1 and takes about 5 minutes to prepare.
- 1 ounce Galliano L’Autentico liqueur (see Notes)
- 1 ounce white crème de cacao (see Notes)
- 1 ounce heavy cream
- garnish of dark chocolate shavings (optional)
- Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are well chilled (20 seconds or so).
- Strain into a cocktail coupe, preferably one that has been chilled. Garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- You can serve this drink in any sort of cocktail glass you like. But the coupe (see pictures) is traditional.
- You can skip the chocolate shaving garnish, but we like the festive note it adds. Plus, the flavor pairs well with crème de cacao.
- Crème de cacao is a chocolate-flavored liqueur that comes in both white and brown versions. The flavor of both is quite similar. But for this drink, definitely use the white version – brown will give the drink a hue that’s too dark.
- Which brand of crème de cacao to buy? We like Marie Brizard, but it’s more expensive than the widely available DeKuyper brand (which works well enough in this drink).
- Galliano L’Autentico – usually just called Galliano – is an Italian liqueur that’s been around since 1896. Its anise flavor is reminiscent of Sambuca, but Galliano also has vanilla notes that give it a different complexity. (It also has notes of other herbs, plus citrus.)
- In Italy, Galliano is most often sipped as a digestif (an after-dinner drink). In the US, it’s mostly used as a cocktail ingredient. Though some people like to drink it as shots.
- Our usual reminder: We’re noncommercial and are not compensated for mentioning brands. We suggest only what we use and like – and buy with our own money.
- So how did the Golden Cadillac come to be? It was created in 1952 at Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q in El Dorado, California (in the Sierra Nevada foothills). Bartender Frank Klein mixed it at the request of a newly betrothed couple, who asked him to create a special drink to celebrate their engagement. And because the cocktail had a slight gold tint, Klein named it after the couple’s gold-colored Cadillac, which they had recently purchased.
- The website for Poor Red’s notes that they consume more Galliano than any other restaurant, liquor retailer, or hotel chain in the world. The Galliano company took notice of the drink’s popularity in the 1960s, and ran an advertising campaign for the Golden Cadillac from 1964 to 1967.
- This drink is perfect for celebrating engagements, of course. But we think it works for any June occasion (or for celebrations in any other month, come to think of it).
- We’ve known about this drink for years, but we never made it until our friend Bob told us a story about the drink – and his dad. Bob and his father had just completed a rather tedious home improvement project. So to celebrate, dad mixed a round of Golden Cadillacs. It was the first time Bob had tasted one, and it became a cherished father/son moment.
- So we dedicate this post to Bob, his late father, and to fathers everywhere.
- And to all newly engaged couples!
“Rich flavor,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “And such a smooth sipper.”
“Yup,” I said. “Who needs a pink Cadillac when you can have this?”
“Speaking of Cadillacs,” said Mrs K R. “I hope you won’t drive me to distraction with bad jokes.”
“I’ll be good as gold!” I said. “Now that I’m in gear, I’m sure to strike a rich vein of humor!”
“Why do I sense that I’m about to be golden fleeced?” said Mrs K R.
Guess I’m not getting a gold star today.
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