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Ginger liqueur makes for modern old-fashioned cocktail

Ginger liqueur makes for modern old-fashioned cocktail

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Special Request The Big O Old Fashioned, for publication November 17, 2021

Ad man Don Draper gave the Old Fashioned a boost in popularity. Foster and Kuper gave it a makeover using Big O Ginger liqueur. Use vintage cocktail glasses for a more festive look. Photo courtesy of Big O Ginger liqueur.

Q • I had an interesting Old-Fashioned cocktail with friends that used a ginger liqueur made in Missouri. I would like to get the recipe to serve it over the holidays. — Terry Wall, St. Louis

A • We were able to contact the owners of the Big O Ginger Liqueur and get the recipe. The Big O features it on its website, along with many other interesting recipes for drinks and more.

It’s a new-fangled take on the Old-Fashioned bourbon cocktail. “We’ve had this recipe on our website, and it’s really popular,” says Kathy Kuper, who, along with husband Billy Foster, owns Big O. “The ginger Manhattan is also at the top with our visitors,” Kuper says. Kuper and Foster first made the popular liqueur from a recipe they developed at home and made for friends and family. In 2011, they turned the family recipe into a spirited business.

As for the cocktail, the addition of the Big O, which is made in Missouri, has a nice warmth from the ginger and adds a bit more sweetness to the classic cocktail. The hints of citrus and Asian spices in the Big O contribute a bit of complexity to the drink as well.

“The Big O old-fashioned is a slightly sweeter and a little more approachable bourbon drink women seem to prefer,” Foster says. “It’s a great cocktail to serve over the holiday season.”

The recipe uses just four ingredients, none of them obscure, plus garnishes. The Big O replaces the sugar in the classic recipe. It’s not difficult to make at home. You only need a mixing pitcher or shaker glass, a long-handled spoon and a strainer. Since home bartending exploded during the pandemic, many folks have bartender’s tools at hand. This holiday may be the time to find good-looking vintage cocktail glasses to dress up the party as well.

A quick peek at the recipe section on the website revealed the Big O Ginger Liqueur isn’t just for cocktails. You’ll find recipes for cookies like Ginger Kisses, sugar cookies and biscotti. Two mini cupcake recipes, one for Peanut Butter cupcakes with Big O buttercream frosting, and another for Chocolate Oreo cupcakes came up. There’s even a recipe for cinnamon-raisin bread with Big O ginger frosting and a classic apple pie. Perfect with a glass of the Big O eggnog.

If, unlike Don Draper, an Old-Fashioned isn’t your drink of choice, you’ll find many more twists on classic recipes like a ginger Manhattan, mule, mojito, Negroni, and even a St. Louis ginger sour recipe by esteemed mixologist Ted Kilgore of Planter’s House.

You can find The Big O Ginger Liqueur at several outlets in town, including Intoxicology where you’ll find great vintage barware as well to add a little sparkle to holiday tables.

Where to buy Big O Ginger Liqueur • The Wine and Cheese Place, Total Wine & More, Randall’s and Intoxicology, as well as other stores.

More info •

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