#AAAM2020 SolidLight Signature Drink

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AAAM Signature Cocktail: Legacy and Remembrance – Sponsored by SolidLight


The Nearest Legacy, forgotten to the history books, was remembered by family. It was brought to light again through hard detective work and research—by those who know that the history that is written isn’t the story that needs to be heard.

And we see the origins of one of the largest whiskey brands in history rewritten, corrected, and attributed to the hard work of a black man who knew his whiskey, knew his process, and taught his legacy to a white man whose name everyone knows.

But Nearest’s name is no longer forgotten, and his whiskey. . .  Well, it’s an understatement to say it’s celebrated world-wide. So, take a sip of a cocktail to celebrate an historical brand with an eye to the future and the change that is to come.

This cocktail featuring Uncle Nearest focuses on the flavors and richness of the whiskey—pulling out some of the fruit and savory notes that run through this delicious whiskey. It was designed with the Nearest Distillery’s 1856 expression in mind—bold at 100 proof, it is delicious as a sipping whiskey in its own right. But in a cocktail, it sings.

This recipe pulls out the apricot notes at the first sniff and then, underneath it, a bit of pepper and spice, that savory note that rides the finish. And then, just a hint of the herbaceous—the smell of new grass. Nothing to overwhelm the palate, just the idea of that subtle green flavor.

The flavors of sweet apricot, and bitter amaro are enhanced with a hint of sage’s savory greenness, playing on Nearest Green’s moniker. And still, through all these flavors, the whiskey shines. It’s a cocktail meant to emphasize the individual notes of the product and bring them together in harmony. A cocktail that evokes a memory that you may not have put words to yet.


Legacy and Remembrance

1.5 ounces Uncle Nearest 1856 100 proof

½ oz apricot liqueur (Giffard’s Abricot de Roussillon suggested)

½ oz Amaro Nonino

3 dashes cherry bark vanilla bitters

1 sage leaf

Garnish: sage leaf and dried apricot

Rub the inside of a coupe or martini glass with a sage leaf until fragrant and place the glass in the freezer. Combine Uncle Nearest whiskey, apricot liqueur, Amaro Nonino and bitters in a mixing glass and add ice. Stir until well-chilled. Strain into the chilled coupe glass and garnish with a dried apricot and sage leaf. Sip and reflect.



Solid Light’s Owner/President Cynthia Torp has a long history in the bourbon world and as a co-founder of Bourbon Women, reached out to a fellow board member to help craft this signature cocktail for AAAM.


Author information:

Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa


Heather Wibbels, the Cocktail Contessa, is an award-winning home mixologist and whiskey enthusiast with a passion for cocktails. She researches, designs and writes about whiskey cocktails on her blog and attends whiskey tastings and events throughout the year. She is a member of the Bourbon Women board of directors (bourbonwomen.org) and teaches private cocktail classes focused on cocktails and whiskey education. You can find her at www.cocktailcontessa.com.


*All ingredients are suggestions. You may mix your own version of the recipe during the closing reception on Friday, Aug. 7 

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