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  • Writer's pictureBrian Tasch


Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Sno-Cone cocktail by Brian Tasch for Pouring Ribbons in NYC

I created the Sno-Cone for Pouring Ribbons' New York City, 1983 menu. The drink is a visual reference to the vibrant, fruity shaved ice and syrup Sno-Cones served on street corners in the summer.

As this was for a winter menu, it has a rich and warming flavor profile. The idea was to create a deceptively seasonal drink, one that looked like summer but drank like winter.

While guests were often skeptical of the gin and creme de cacao combination, the drink has found new life thanks to the revival interest in blue curacao and a little help from Imbibe magazine.

Sno-Cone recipe

1.5 oz London Dry Gin

.75 oz Marie Brizard White Creme de Cacao

.75 oz Lemon Juice

.5 oz Cocchi Americano

.5 oz Giffard Blue Curacao

.25 oz Cinnamon syrup

Glass: Pilsner

Ice: Crushed

Garnish: Peychaud's bitters

Whip shake with crushed ice and dump into the glass. Top with crushed ice and garnish with a few generous dashes of Peychaud's bitters.

Leandro DiMonriva, probably best known as The Educated Barfly, recently featured the Sno-Cone on his YouTube channel. DiMonriva adds 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters - a welcome addition! The Ango's gentian echoes the Cocchi Americano and the baking spices echo the cinnamon syrup, all while slightly drying the drink out a little more.


Essentially, the Sno-Cone is a mash-up of a Twentieth Century and a Corpse Reviver #2

The beautiful thing about a Twentieth Century is how refreshing and bright it is before receding into confectionary chocolate. In Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh describes it as lemonade with a surprise chocolate finish. This flavor profile immediately jumped out as an excellent way to get people to drink a refreshing gin cocktail during winter in NYC.

Twentieth Century

1.5 oz London Dry Gin

.75 oz White Creme de Cacao

.75 oz Lillet Blanc

.75 oz Lemon Juice

Corpse Reviver #2

1.5 oz London Dry Gin

.75 oz Dry Curacao

.75 oz Lillet Blanc

.75 oz Lemon Juice

1 dash Absinthe

Ingredient breakdown

London Dry Gin

I ended up going with Ford's London Dry Gin for the final version of the drink, but any bold, citrusy gin will work. The higher the proof, the better, as it needs to hold up to plenty of sugar and dilution.

Marie Brizard Creme de Cacao

I generally prefer Giffard's Creme de Cacao, but the subtleties of that liqueur got lost in the mix.

Cocchi Americano

I prefer Cocchi Americano over Lillet Blanc in most cocktails, but I tried Cocchi Americano, Lillet Blanc, and Lillet Reserve to see which worked best. Lillet Blanc was completely lost, and Lillet Reserve offered too many confectionary, woody notes in an already chocolatey drink. Additionally, the bitter wormwood in the Cocchi helps balance the sweetness of the drink.

Giffard Blue Curacao

In my opinion, there isn't any blue curacao that can stand up to Giffard. If you can't find a really good blue curacao and the visual element doesn't matter that much to you, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao obviously makes for a delicious, but decidedly not blue cocktail.

Cinnamon Syrup*

I initially used a quarter ounce of Italicus Bergamonto liqueur, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get it to work. I wanted to echo the blue curacao with more orange to compliment the chocolate, but the Italicus disappeared as the drink diluted.

Crushed ice drinks need plenty of sugar to maintain body over time – otherwise, they get watery and thin as the ice melts. The cinnamon syrup came at the suggestion of Joaquin Simo during R&D and added just enough sugar to keep the drink alive over time. It also lent an additional baking spice note to play on the creme de cacao.

Peychaud's Bitters

The visual begged for contrast, and I opted for Peychaud's bitters. Besides the stunning visual element, they add a spicy, candied anise nose to the drink. Additionally, when mixed into the cocktail, the bitters help dry it out a bit.


*Cinnamon Syrup


2 cinnamon sticks

250g hot water

250g white sugar


Bring water to a boil and add the sugar to make simple syrup. Crush cinnamon sticks to increase surface area and add to the hot simple syrup. Infuse for 24 hours. [Yields 12oz cinnamon syrup.]

Photo credit: Erik Ackley


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