I’ve been really enjoying digestifs recently. Something about having a nice cocktail after dinner just makes me smile. While dessert is absolutely the only way to end a meal, a cocktail to go with it just puts the icing on the cake… so to speak.
Unlike an aperitif which gets you ready for your meal, a digestif helps to digest the food. They’re usually on the sweeter side which is why they’re the ideal way to finish off your meal. Although a digestif usually consists of a brown liquor like scotch or brandy, it can also be a mixed cocktail made up of sweeter liqueurs and mixers. That’s exactly what the Cadillac is. There actually isn’t a single drop of brown liquor anywhere in the cocktail. Instead it’s made up of Galliano, cremé de cacao and heavy cream. It’s the cremé de cacao that makes it sweeter than your standard snifter of brandy or port, which means this drink could be dessert all on its own. But come on, we all know a cocktail is definitely better when sipped between bites of cake or pie.
The Cadillac was created in 1952 in El Dorado, California, at a bar called Poor Red’s. The story goes that a newly engaged couple came into the bar and wanted to celebrate their engagement with a cocktail created specifically for them. The bartender of the time, Frank Klein, thought it should match their newly purchased gold Cadillac. So, he mixed and mixed and mixed and after several misses finally came up with what we now know today as the Golden Cadillac. Because it uses Galliano, Poor Red’s became the largest consumer of Galliano liqueur in North America. In fact, the Golden Cadillac is such a popular drink, Galliano gave Poor Red’s a Gold Cadillac to display outside the bar.
I can’t wait to sip an authentic Golden Cadillac at Poor Red’s. But since I don’t have any plans to visit El Dorado, California any time in the near future, I guess I’ll just have to whip up my own. Won’t you join me?
- 1 oz. Galliano
- 1 oz. Cremé de Cacao
- 1 oz. heavy cream
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 1 minute. Strain into an aperitif glass and serve.