Stirring Up Spirits 

We asked five local bartenders to create original cocktails commemorating fascinating moments in Richmond's past. Here's what they came up with.

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General 25

Created by Sean Rapoza of Balliceaux

"The name of the cocktail is both a play on the French 75 and a reference to the number of Confederate generals buried in Hollywood Cemetery. The cocktail is an adaptation of a mint julep meets a bourbon and ginger. A twist on both a classic Southern cocktail and a modern standard for Richmond." — Sean Rapoza


2 ounces Makers Mark bourbon

1 ounce Canton Ginger Liqueur

½ ounce simple syrup

¾ ounce fresh lemon juice

5-7 lemon verbena leaves, plus a sprig for garnish

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The Tyrant

Ben Petty of Tarrant's Café

"Give me liberty or give me death."

The oft-repeated quotation is frequently attributed to Patrick Henry and to the famous speech he made to the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Church in Richmond on March 23, 1775. Whether or not Henry said these exact words is disputed, but what's certain is that he helped to rally the delegates — a crowd that included Thomas Jefferson and George Washington — to action. The troops of Virginia soon were off to face the British tyrants.


1½ ounces Espolon Blanco

½ ounce Pama liqueur

¼ ounce pomegranate molasses

Juice of 1 lime

2 twists on a pepper grinder

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Shockoe Hill Cat

Created by Steven Ogburne of Amuse

"These two gangs, the Shockoe Hill cats and the Butchertown cats, used to fight for the possession of the flats at the foot of the hill. The Butchertown boys said it was theirs, because the territory was not on the hill; while the Shockoe Hill boys contended that it was theirs because it was on their side of the creek; which are arguments as sound as those that are used by the most powerful nations of Europe." — as recalled by Charles M. Wallace in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

The story goes that these two Civil War-era juvenile street gangs used to fight over territory in downtown Richmond. Confederate President Jefferson Davis's two boys were said to be members of the Shockoe Hill Cats.

click to enlarge shockoe_hill_cat.jpeg


2 halved kumquats

2 dashes Angostura orange bitters

½ ounce cardamom, cinnamon and brown-sugar syrup

Muddle these items.

2 ounces Sazerac Rye Whiskey

¼ ounce fresh lime juice

Shake and roll into Collins glass. Garnish with something green and spear a kumquat with something such as tarragon.

Now Serving
Want to taste? Quench your thirst for history by visiting any of these establishments by July Fourth, where you can order up one of their bartenders' original cocktails.


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