French Connection

french connection 1

The French Connection won five Oscars and is considered one of the best films of all time, but that’s not our subject. This is all about bourbon, the City of Louisville and cocktails.

Chartered in 1780 at the falls of the Ohio river, Louisville is named in honor of the French King for his support during the Revolutionary war. The state spirit is synonymous with Louisville and Louis the 16th favored a red and black raspberry liqueur made in the Loire Valley. A century later the French created another classic orange flavored liqueur.

Bourbon, Chambord and Grand Marnier were destined to become a delicious cocktail as a fitting homage to Louisville’s French Connection.

Creation of the French Connection

Development of this recipe required alternating wheated and rye bourbons, ratios of spirit and liqueurs, syrups, infusions and juices. Ultimately by unanimous agreement of my tasting panel, they selected original Maker’s Mark as the base spirit. I wasn’t surprised, because it was also my favorite, but I’m biased because there’s a distant family connection that you can read about here.



French Connection

Wheated Bourbon, Chambord, Grand Marnier, Kentucky clover orange honey syrup and lemon married to perfection

  • Author: Tim


  • 13/4 oz original Maker’s Mark
  • 1/2 oz Chambord
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 oz Kentucky Clover orange honey syrup
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • Lemon Peel garnish


Kentucky Clover Honey Orange Syrup

  1. Mix the syrup in a small pot with 1 cup Kentucky clover honey, 1 cup water and 1 TBL grand marnier
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, stir until the honey and liqueur is integrated and reduced by 10-15%. Cool, reserve in a swing top bottle and refrigerate until ready to use.

French Connection

  1. Combine all ingredients over ice in a shaker and shake until combined and chilled
  2. Pour over ice in a double rocks glass
  3. Rub the lemon peel around the rim, twist and express the oils over the top and garnish