Red Eye

The major perk of the American Express platinum card is the Amex Centurion lounges. Now that most of the major airlines offer lounge access with their associated credit cards, many of the US-based lounges have scaled down their food options and typically – feel a bit like a crowded refugee camp, squalling babies and all.

Centurion lounges feature food from a famous local chef and a bar menu by Jim Meehan. Although our local homebase of SFO has bartenders of questionable capabilities (unfortunately – Francis Kelly, an excellent bartender, left a few years back), the bar menu is quite good and well-thought-out. Many of the drinks are riffs off of familiar flavors, like a butterscotch old fashioned or a banana daquiri using Tempus Fugit in place of sugar.

I recently popped into the Centurion lounge in the DFW (Dallas) and tried a few of the drinks. “We’re not Werther’s” caught my eye, but it was honestly quite terrible: sweet and relatively warm, because the lone ice cube in the center did not dissipate sufficient cold. With modest expectations I moved to the Red Eye and was stunned.

The cocktail, a Jim Meehan original, is like drinking maple syrup blended with a hit of Rye. I loved it. And as soon as I got home, looked up the recipe to make it.

Red Eye Cocktail with toothpick ontop of glass surface


  • 1.5 oz Rye (Wild Turkey)
  • .75 oz Cognac (Remy Martin VSOP)
  • .75 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
  • .25 oz St. Georges NOLA Coffee
  • 2 Dashes Bittermans Mole Bitters


Cocktail Glass


  • Add all ingredients to shaker.
  • Shake and strain into cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a cherry.

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