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Cocktail Menu: 1833 in Monterey, California

Happy 60th Birthday, Golden Cadillac Cocktail

Poor Red's BBQ in the California gold country is famous for the Golden Cadillac, a cocktail created in 1952. Next year will be the drink's 60th birthday.

It's a combination of Galliano, creme de cacao, and cream, thrown into a blender.

Poor Red's sells them by the thousands. 

(They don't look this fancy at Poor Red's. Image courtesy of Galliano.)

As you might imagine, it's not the most... nuanced drink in the world but should you find yourself in El Dorado (located between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe) it's one of those when-in-Rome cocktails. 

Here's some history of the drink. 

Poor Reds

In El Dorado, California exists a bar known as Poor Red’s. Originally constructed as a weigh station for Wells Fargo, it previously operated under the name Kelly’s Bar from 1927 until 1945. Poor Red won the bar in a game of dice, and he and his wife and bookkeeper Rich Opal took it over then.

The murals currently on the walls of Poor Red’s were installed in the 40s. They are all former employees and patrons, including the dog which used to sit out front. It is rumored his dog ran for office, but he lost.

People come from all over California to enjoy 2 things at Poor Red’s: great barbeque and their famous Golden Cadillac cocktails.

The Golden Cadillac

Sometime in 1951 or 52, a woman and her new fiancé came into Poor Red’s. To celebrate their engagement they decided their very own cocktail should be created in their honor. The couple and long-time bartender Frank Klein decided it should be created to match their newly purchased golden Cadillac. Several recipes were tried, butt he final concoction is still known worldwide as the Golden Cadillac: a cocktail whose success has been credited to the unmatched quality of Bols Crème de Cacao, the clean mountain water that makes up the ice, decades old metal blenders, the perfect measure of half and half, and of course – the unique flavors and golden color of Galliano L’Autentico.

Since this was written the bar has narrowed its creation date to 1952.

Galliano recently gave Poor Red's a Golden Cadillac to display indefinitely outside the bar. 

Golden cadillac car small
And if you're not in the area any time soon, here is the recipe. 

Golden Cadillac
by Frank Klein of Poor Red's BBQ 

1 oz Galliano L’Autentico
1 oz Bols White Crème de Cacao liqueur
1 oz cream
Dark chocolate shavings

Shake the ingredients and double strain through a sieve into a small wine glass. Place on a white tray and grate with dark chocolate.