POPSUGAR Celebrity

Happy Hour: Cable Car

Jun 25 2010 - 4:15pm

Since I'm something of a home mixologist [1], one of the seminars I looked forward to attending at the Food & Wine Classic [2] was Tony Abou-Ganim [3]'s Create Your Own Specialty Cocktails. While I make tons of drinks at home, I always follow a recipe, so I was curious to see what Ganim had to say.

According to him, the key to a good cocktail is balance. Also, making drinks is like cooking; once you know the basic ratio, you can build upon it. Most libations consist of a base spirit, modifier spirit, citrus, and sweetener. To demonstrate his method, Ganim made his signature cocktail, the Cable Car.

He created this drink back in 1996 at the Starlight Room [4] in San Francisco. It's a mixture of Captain Morgan, orange curacao, and fresh lemon sour. The Cable Car is a modern classic that's perfectly balanced; it's refreshing, smooth, and not too sweet or too potent. If you're new to making cocktails at home, I suggest you start with this recipe. Get it now.

Cable Car

Cable Car

Tony Abou-Ganim's Cable Car Cocktail Recipe 2010-06-25 12:18:28


  1. Sugar and cinnamon for rim, if desired
  2. 1 ½ ounce Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  3. ¾ ounce Marie Brizard orange Curacao
  4. 1 ½ ounce fresh lemon sour *
  5. orange spiral for garnish, if desired


  1. To sugar-cinnamon frost a cocktail glass, first chill the glass, rub the rim’s circumference approximately ¾ inch in depth with a lemon wedge, then dip into a bowl of superfine sugar (regular granulated sugar does not adhere as well) and cinnamon.
  2. In an ice filled mixing glass add Captain Morgan, orange curacao and fresh sour; shake until well blended.
  3. Strain into a chilled sugar-cinnamon frosted cocktail glass and garnish with an orange spiral, if desired.

Makes 1 drink.

*To make a fresh lemon sour: Mix 2 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice with one part simple syrup.

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