A Publication of WTVP

Bonhomme Richard

by Dustin Crawford |

Dry and Dry-ish January has come to a close with the bitter cold of winter seeping into our bones, and it’s high time to have a cocktail that takes our minds to warmer climes. This one falls into the Old Fashioned-style of cocktails with a split base that pulls us to the tropics and Mexico along with a descent into tantalizing smokiness.

There are flames involved with this drink, so be sure to seek out safe conditions. There are many ways to smoke a drink; I like to smoke the glass itself as this drink is on the rocks and tastes the best while cold. For this, you will need a brulee torch or tea light, along with a fireproof surface like slate or ceramic. I place these on a trivet or wire rack in order to not transfer heat to the counter.

First, the tools and methods: You will need a measuring jigger, stirring glass, bar spoon, hawthorne strainer, double rocks glass, heating surface, and brulee torch or tea light.

To smoke the glass by torch, start by breaking one stick of cinnamon and placing it on the heating surface. Blast with the brulee torch until all pieces are burning. Turn off your torch and place the double rocks glass over the cinnamon, which will extinguish any flames and fill with smoke. To smoke the glass with a tea light: Hold your cinnamon stick over the flame angled up and away from your fingers. Continuously glide the stick through the tip of the flame and turn it over until the stick is fully lit and glowing for half its length. Place the stick on the heating surface and place the double rocks glass over it, thereby filling it with smoke. With either method, leave the glass this way until you finish mixing your cocktail.

Next, the ingredients: To the mixing glass add:

  • 1 dash old fashioned bitters
  • 5 drops Crude Tropi-500 bitters
  • .5 oz. agave syrup
  • 1 oz. Plantation Stiggins formula pineapple rum Smokey Edition
  • 1 oz. Mezcal (never one with the worm)

Now the process: Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Turn your glass over and fill 3/4 of the way with fresh ice as the smoke wafts. Strain your cocktail over the ice and garnish with a pineapple leaf and a piece of torched pineapple, which all together gives this cocktail a lot of nose that is light but complex. Named after John Paul Jones’ ship, the Bonhomme Richard is now ready to drink and better than the grog historically served upon it.


Dustin Crawford

Dustin Crawford

is co-owner — with partner Kip Rodier — of the 33 Room in Peoria Heights. Prior to that, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran traveled the world before returning home to work his magic behind the bar at various central Illinois establishments.