The Witty Comeback

A Witty Comeback cocktail with a cherry garnish.

The Witty Comeback existed as a “real” cocktail before the pandemic, meaning that we didn’t invent it ourselves. We did take a couple of liberties, though, with the ingredients, so purists, please don’t hate!

Since the point of the project (or so we tell ourselves) is to clean out the kitchen, beginning with the liquor cabinet, we make a point to never buy an ingredient just to make a particular cocktail.

Therefore, we’ve substituted Rye with the Whiskey that was in the cabinet. And the original recipe calls for a particular Amaro that will impart a particular flavor, but we didn’t have that kind. (Please review The Pandemic Pub Rules if you’d like a refresher). We consider this legal, even preferable, since we’re trying to get rid of bottles! Right? OK.


  • 4 oz Whiskey (substituted for Rye)

  • 1 oz Amaro

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice, about 1/2 lemon

  • Ginger Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup peeled, chopped Ginger

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup water


  • Try to leave time to make the Ginger Simple Syrup ahead, so that it can cool for a while in the fridge. It’s not the end of the world if you forget (as we did) because the flavor will most certainly make up for a slightly warmer temperature to the drink!
  • Ginger Simple Syrup
  • Boil the ginger, sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Note that the ginger doesn’t need to be chopped too finely, since you’ll strain the chunks from the completed syrup. Its role here is to impart the ginger flavor to the syrup.
  • Stir until sugar dissolves, then remove from heat, strain out ginger.
  • Cool the syrup, eventually transferring to fridge.
  • Putting It All Together
  • Add 1 oz of the Ginger Simple Syrup, along with the other liquids, to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake until satisfied, and present in a coupe glass with a cherry. (Maura didn’t know there was a name for this cute little glass until now).


Elizabeth likes to use monkfruit instead of sugar, though I’m not fond of the way that it crystallizes quickly, even in the glass, even before you’re finished drinking it. It makes it nearly impossible to make ahead, or stash some in the fridge for tomorrow’s Happy Hour. Maura votes for good old-fashioned sugar!

We learned we’re fond of Amaro, that neither of us will ever be a big Whiskey fan (though Maura has tried to make a go of it), and that Ginger Simple Syrup is an incredible discovery.

Besides tasting out of this world in the simple syrup, the ginger lent an amazing scent to the kitchen for a long time.

This was an early success that kept us going!

Enjoyed on April 30

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