Frisco Cocktail Recipe

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Frisco Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Frisco cocktail is a classic drink that dates back to the early 1900s. It was first created in San Francisco, hence the name 'Frisco'. This cocktail gained popularity during the Prohibition era and was enjoyed by many high society members. It is a simple yet elegant drink that has stood the test of time.

  • Origin: San Francisco
  • Popular during Prohibition era
  • Enjoyed by high society members

How Frisco Tastes?

The Frisco cocktail is a well-balanced mix of sweet, sour, and strong flavors. The combination of rye whiskey and Bénédictine creates a rich, warm, and slightly spicy taste, while the lemon juice adds a refreshing citrus tang.

Interesting facts about Frisco

  • The Frisco is often considered a 'forgotten classic' due to its lesser-known status compared to other classic cocktails.
  • Bénédictine, one of the key ingredients, is a French herbal liqueur that has been produced since the 19th century.
  • Some variations of the Frisco cocktail include the use of bourbon instead of rye whiskey.


Rye Whiskey

The backbone of our Frisco cocktail, rye whiskey brings a spicy, fruity, and what some might call a 'feisty' kick to the drink. Opt for 2 oz to hit that sweet spot between 'mellow evening' and 'let’s chat about the meaning of life'. Too little and you'd miss the party, too much and the balance would tumble faster than a house of cards.

Alex Green


A French herbal liqueur that's like the secret sauce in a gourmet burger. At 0.5 oz, it adds just enough herbal complexity to make your taste buds curious, but not overwhelmed. Forget it, and you're bailing on depth and character – kind of like skipping the bass track on a rock song.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

It's the zing and the zest! A spritely 0.5 oz cuts through the rye’s warmth and the Bénédictine’s sweetness, bringing a refreshing sharpness to the party. Leave it out and you've basically given your cocktail a 'no sunshine' policy. The cocktail will be flat, like soda left out too long.

Mary Mitkina


Not there for a free ride, ice is the unsung hero that chills and dilutes, taking the edge off and making everything sip-able. No ice means your cocktail’s as warm and as welcoming as a snowman in summer.

Alex Green

Lemon Twist

The garnish is not just a pretty face, it releases essential oils and adds an aromatic dimension to your Frisco. Skip the twist, and you could be waving goodbye to that alluring first impression.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Frisco Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add 2 oz of rye whiskey, 0.5 oz of Bénédictine, and 0.5 oz of lemon juice to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and well combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well mixed.
  • Use a fresh lemon twist for garnish to enhance the citrus flavor.
  • Chill the cocktail glass before serving for a refreshing drink.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Hearty Appetizers: The robust flavors of rye whiskey pair well with rich and savory appetizers like stuffed mushrooms or sliders.
  • Grilled Meats: The smoky character of grilled meats complements the spiciness of the rye in the Frisco cocktail.
  • Cheeses: A selection of bold cheeses, such as aged cheddar or gouda, can stand up to the strong flavors in this drink.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips, sparkling water is a refreshing choice.
  • Amber Ale: A beer with caramel notes could contrast nicely with the cocktail's herbal undertones.

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What you could change in Frisco

  • Rye whiskey: Can be substituted with bourbon for a sweeter taste.
  • Bénédictine: If unavailable, a mix of honey and herbal tea can be used as a substitute.
  • Lemon juice: Lime juice can be used for a different citrus twist.

Explore all drinks starting with F here

And of course - twists🍹

Frisco Sour

  • Substitute lemon juice with lime juice and add an egg white.
  • Dry shake (without ice) the rye whiskey, Bénédictine, lime juice and egg white to emulsify, then shake again with ice.
  • Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lime twist. The result? A creamier, frothier version with a tangy kick, like doing the tango in your mouth.

Spiced Frisco

  • Add a small piece of fresh ginger and a dash of cinnamon to the shaker.
  • Follow the original recipe, muddling the ginger first.
  • Strain and serve with a cinnamon stick garnish. It’s like autumn in a glass, and just as cozy as a bear in hibernation.

Frisco Royale

  • Replace rye whiskey with cognac.
  • Shake the cognac, Bénédictine, and lemon juice with ice and strain into a glass.
  • Top with a splash of champagne and garnish with a lemon twist. It’s the Frisco dressed in a tuxedo, ready for a night at the opera—classy with a bubbly personality.

In case you forgot basics how to make Frisco

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Frisco

What type of glass is best to serve the Frisco cocktail in?

The Frisco cocktail is traditionally served in a coupe glass but it can also be served in an old-fashioned or rocks glass.

What's the best time to enjoy the Frisco cocktail?

As a classic cocktail, a Frisco is suitable for all occasions but is often enjoyed as an evening drink, as the robustness of rye whiskey can be quite soothing after a meal.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Frisco cocktail?

Despite its characteristic taste deriving mainly from the alcohol, you can use non-alcoholic substitutes like herbal tea for the Bénédictine and non-alcoholic whiskey substitute for the rye whiskey.

What's the significance of shaking the ingredients in a cocktail shaker?

Shaking the cocktail mixes the ingredients thoroughly and also chills, dilutes and aerates the drink. This is especially important in cocktails, like the Frisco, which contain citrus juice.

Why it is important to garnish the cocktail?

Garnish doesn't only give a cocktail a more aesthetic appearance, but also adds a new layer of flavor to it. In Frisco cocktail, lemon twist garnish gives it a subtle refreshing citrus flavor.

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