Revolver Cocktail

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



A pair of bourbon-based Revolver cocktails against a slate backdrop with a peeled orange and a decanter of bourbon in the background

The Revolver cocktail is a dapper drink that combines the bold, sophisticated flavours of bourbon, coffee liqueur, and orange bitters in a satisfyingly rich and complex way. A little bitter and somewhat earthy, with a spicy, citrusy zing to round it all off, it’s a drink that means business – an iron fist in a velvet glove, if you will. Here’s our recipe.



Orange bitters adds something zesty, but conventional bitters are fine as well.


Try blood orange peel to layer further delicate bitter notes.


Brandy or cognac can be used instead of bourbon.



1 Person

60 Ml

2 Oz

2 Parts

15 Ml

0.5 Oz

0.5 Parts

Coffee liqueur
Dashes orange bitters
To garnish, flamed orange peel



Combine the bourbon, coffee liqueur and orange bitters in a mixing glass filled with ice, and stir until well-chilled


Strain into a chilled cocktail glass


Flame an orange peel over the top of the drink to express the oil, and garnish the drink with the peel

How the Revolver cocktail recipe came to be

The credit for this exceptional drink goes to mixologist and bartender Jon Santer, who first stirred it up at the Bourbon and Branch speakeasy-style bar in San Francisco, California in the late 1990s. 

A smooth riff on the classic Manhattan template, the bourbon-based drink has a kick of caffeine and amazing depth of flavour with coffee liqueur replacing the sweet vermouth.  

The name ‘Revolver’ is said to be a nod to the rotating cylinder of a firearm, which is echoed in the swirl of the coffee liqueur in the glass. The drink has since become a popular cocktail in bars and restaurants around the world, and it is a top choice for cocktail enthusiasts who enjoy the rich, smoky flavours of bourbon and coffee. 

Learn more: 9 Things Every Newbie Should Know About Cocktail Making 

Revolver cocktail variations to try

If the Revolver Cocktail hits all the right spots, here are a few other mixed drinks with exciting twists you can try at home.

Tiramisu White Russian cocktail

Dessert cocktails are always an indulgent delight. The Tiramisu White Russian is an Italian and Russian love child that blends the best of rich coffee liqueur, fruity rum, and fluffy whipped cream to create a drink that celebrates the flavour of Tiramisu (which literally means ‘pick me up’ in Italian).  

Mexican Coffee cocktail

To make Mexican Coffee, pick your favourite coffee, a good quality coffee liqueur, and an aged reposado tequila (our go-to is Espolòn Tequila Reposado) to add extra vanilla and caramel notes. Serve warm in a mug, and add a dusting of cayenne powder if you’re feeling brave. 

Blackjack cocktail

Our Blackjack cocktail is vegan-friendly and made with coffee amaro, cognac, cherry liqueur, and cold-brewed coffee mixed and poured over ice. It has a fresh espresso flavour and a lovely cherry and orange finish. 

Velvet Revolver cocktail

Feeling a little fruity? Add one spoon of strawberry jam or preserve and 45ml Cognac in the base of a shaker and stir until combined. Add ice, along with 15ml red wine, 15ml lemon juice, 10ml simple syrup, and two dashes of bitters. Shake until frosty, and fine strain into a serving glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a strawberry slice and serve. 

More zest? 8 Orange Liqueur Cocktails That Zest the Best 

When to serve a Revolver Cocktail

The coffee flavour of the Revolver Cocktail makes it a great after-dinner drink. We also love serving it at:  

  • Wintery dinner parties (warms from the inside out) 
  • 1920s dress-up parties (it’s got that speakeasy vibe to it) 
  • Bourbon Heritage Month, celebrated each year in September 
  • National Coffee Day, celebrated each year on 29 September 


In the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise's character, Maverick, and his love interest, Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood, are shown drinking Singapore Slings together in a bar. The drink is served in a tall glass with a pinkish-red hue and is garnished with a cherry and a slice of pineapple. The Singapore Sling is often associated with the glamorous era of aviation and travel in the early 20th century.

If you don’t have orange bitters on hand, simply use conventional bitters instead.

There is no official drink of the Dallas Cowboys, as the team has not designated a specific drink as their official drink. However, AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play their home games, offers a variety of cocktails and drinks at its bars and concession stands. One popular drink at AT&T Stadium is the Texas Margarita, which is made with tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur, and is served on the rocks with a salted rim.

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