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Drink DuJour: Frisco Bay

This mixture of Kahlua, rum and tonic was inspired by a coffee shop trend

At Chef Michael Lomonaco’s Center Bar, an upscale lounge with great views located in NYC’s Columbus Circle, beverage director Brad Nugent has created an entire menu of anything-but-basic riffs on the gin and tonic. You won’t find the straightforward classic you know and love, but you will find reimagined versions utilizing ingredients like Campari or cilantro and even tonic-based recipes that pair the fizzy stuff with unlikely spirits such as tequila or bourbon. This particular variation is made with rum and pays homage to the city where Nugent first tasted an intriguing coffee shop treat called an Espresso Tonic, which left a lasting impression.

“Inspiration for the Frisco Bay came from a trip to San Francisco. I was first introduced to a simple, non-alcoholic drink; a shot of espresso poured over tonic water on ice,” he says. “When conceiving the tonic menu at Center Bar I knew I wanted to do a take on this. Rum seemed like the best choice for the warm summer months and cinnamon is always a nice accent to coffee.”


1 oz. Dorado 3 Year Old rum
½ oz. Ron Zacapa 23 rum
¼ oz. Kahlua
½ oz. Cinnamon syrup
¾ oz. Chilled espresso
Tonic water to top
Lemon twist


In a small mixing tin, combine all ingredients except tonic. Shake and strain into a double rocks glass. Top with tonic. Add ice. Express lemon oil on top.