I’m gonna be honest with you guys — I’m always honest with you guys, right? — and tell you that the Whatchawant is actually a mistake version of another drink I wanted to make for y’all. Maybe not so much a mistake as misinformation; based on what I’d read of it in a magazine, I went about recreating this particular cocktail — wrongly, as it turns out — that’s on the menu at a place in St. Louis called Sanctuaria Wild Tapas.
I can’t vouch for how “wild” the tapas is (does it belly dance for you unsolicited, just ‘cuz it feelin’ feisty?), but the cocktail side of Sanctuaria’s operation is phantasmagoric in concept and makes me regret leaving St. Louis before I got to set foot in the place. Get this:
Buy a $20 lifetime membership to the house’s cocktail club and you’ll get a) lots of nifty accoutrements perfect for cocktail fetishists, like a membership card and a composition book (for tasting notes, natch); b) $2 off every cocktail (most people, I tell them $10, but for you? $8!); c) various discounts for tasting events, retail merch, etc.; and d) first drink free!
First drink free… out of 150!! Once you slurp your way through that sesquicentennium of happiness, you get new perks like a) free liver transplant!; b) bigger merch, etc. discounts, but most importantly; c) third drink on the house for life!!! (All the better to break in new liver.)
Anyway, back to me and my stupidity. Because I have an impatient streak, I didn’t verify the recipe with Sanctuaria beforehand. Afterhand, I discover that I’d used the wrong kind of bitters and omitted a key ingredient, pommeau (unfermented apple cider + apple brandy), which I doubt I’d be able to find up here in liquor-finicky Montreal even though it’s Frenchy… [decides to check out SAQ's website before once again jumping to conclusions]… feck, they do have pommeau here. Damn this incurable impatience!
Anyway! I made a good drink and that’s all that matters! I like the Whatchawant because it’s got just four ingredients that any boozehound’s home is likely to keep stocked, and because it’s super-pleasant but not bland; perfect for coming home after work. Also, I checked around (before I published this post — I’m learning!) and haven’t found evidence of the Whatchawant existing elsewhere under another name. I believe the closest thing to it is the Louisville Cooler, which swaps out the bitters in place of powdered sugar.
I called it the Watchawant because I promise you it’ll hit the spot time and again (that’s what she said). Here’s to easy drinking! (She probably also said that.)
2 ounces Buffalo Trace bourbon
1 ounce fresh orange juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into (preferably chilled) cocktail glass.
I should start mentioning the chilling of cocktail glasses more often. It only helps, right? And you guys know how to do it, right? Just put ice, then water, in your cocktail glass and leave it there while you make the drink in the shaker.
Can you use Angostura bitters instead? Totes.