How to Make the Pousse Café Cocktail

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Three years after setting a world record for the largest kopstootje (that is, a shot of Dutch genever served so overflowing that it must be slurped), Las Vegas’ Anthony Pullen made his next record attempt on the streets of New Orleans during the 11th annual Tales of the Cocktail last month. The Lucas Bols USA brand development and education manager set up shop outside the cocktail festival’s headquarters at the historic Hotel Monteleone and began constructing the world’s largest Pousse Café.

The multilayer “coffee-pusher” tipple of mid-19th Century New Orleans origin was originally meant to be sipped alongside afternoon java. But that afternoon, Pullen carefully layered a 5-foot Champagne flute with 15 liters of grenadine, anisette, banana liqueur, Bols yogurt liqueur, pomegranate liqueur, Galliano L’Autentico and Bols genever. Tales of the Cocktail founder Ann “Mrs. Cocktail” Tuennerman gently poured in the final layer, making it indeed the world’s largest. Which begs the question: Who got to drink it? 

The Pousse Café at the Fireside Lounge in the Peppermill ($12) is a much more manageable size, and a favorite among cocktailians in the know: grenadine, blue curaçao, white crème  de cacao, green Chartreuse and brandy. “Personally, I shoot mine in one go and skip the coffee part,” says Pullen, who spends much of his time resurrecting history’s forgotten cocktails. Now that’s Dutch courage!

Pousse Café

As served at the Fireside Lounge in the Peppermill, $12

In a 1½-ounce cordial glass, gently layer ¼ ounce grenadine, ¼ ounce blue curaçao, ¼ ounce white crème de cacao, ¼ ounce green Chartreuse and ¼ ounce Christian Brothers brandy using the back of a barspoon. The decreasing densities of the liqueurs will cause the layers to form.

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