Issue No. 98 —

The Six Inch Gold Blade

One of my favorite speakeasy style cocktail bars is The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company in Philadelphia. Their cocktail menu is the best I have come across in my travels. Yup, I said it… the best. They even have a section in the menu quoting a Howlin’ Wolf song called “I asked for water and she gave me gasoline.” The menu is very courageous and their execution and style is flawless. A few of their cocktails are featured in this modern cocktail book called Beta Cocktails. This book features hard to find spirits, modern techniques and current trends in the cocktail movement. One of my favorite recipes from this book is The Six Inch Gold Blade by Al Sotack.

This cocktail is a wonderful use of Smith and Cross Rum. An even better mix of bitter components. And then finish all that off with the smokey touch of Laphroaig and spicy mole bitters. Brilliant.


  • 1.5 oz Smith and Cross Rum
  • .5 oz Punt e Mes Vermouth
  • .5 oz Nardini Amaro
  • .5 oz Campari
  • 1 tsp of Laphroaig Scotch
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash mole bitters
  • 1 orange twist

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass except the garnish. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express the oils of  a orange twist over the cocktail and discard the twist.

2 Notes on The Six Inch Gold Blade

  1. I really really want to make this drink. I love a negroni, which this seems like a cousin of. Laphroaig is also my always-on-hand Scotch, and I love the idea of using a strong whisky like Laphroaig in a cocktail (I’ve been known to mix myself a Laphroaig and Carpano Antica Rob Roy on occasion).
    My question is do you have a recommendation for an Amari that would work in substitute for the Nardini? I haven’t found it locally and I’m not sure I can justify spending $50–60 to have it shipped to me on my student’s budget just for this one drink (I’m sure I can find other uses for it, though). But if I do substitute, I want to make sure I stay true to the original flavor profile of the cocktail.

  2. This is a deep bitter cocktail with 4 types of bitters, not for the meek. I have been using My Amaro by Lorenzo Inga at work and it comes out great. I’m sure you can find Averna at most liquor stores and that would work also. The Campari really is the more powerful bitter component anyways. You definitely need the Smith and Cross Rum and some Mole Bitters. I’m using Bitter Truth for the mole bitters. The Laphoaig is a nice touch with some smokey/peat. Let me know how it works out for you.

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