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The Division Bell cocktail is a must try! Mezcal, Aperol, maraschino liqueur, and lime come together with a bitter, smoky and citrusy depth.

Division bell cocktail

Here’s a fun modern classic drink to impress: try the Division Bell cocktail! This smoky, sultry and citrusy pairing of mezcal, Aperol and maraschino liqueur is bold and eye-catching. Each sip is intriguing and makes you both savor and immediately lean in for another. This cocktail is new to the scene, but riffs on a classic. It will have everyone talking!

Ingredients in the Division Bell cocktail

The Division Bell cocktail is a mixed drink made with mezcal, Aperol, maraschino, and lime juice, invented in 2009 by Phil Ward. The bartender at Mayahuel in New York City, he created a long list of tequila and mezcal-based drinks for the opening of the bar. He named this particular drink after the Pink Floyd album of the same name, which he listened to while constructing the bar. (He also created the Oaxaca Old Fashioned with mezcal for the same bar in 2007.)

This drink is a play on the Last Word, a classic cocktail from 1916 with equal parts gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino and lime juice. If you’re a cocktail connoisseur, you might notice some similarities between this drink and the Naked and Famous, another drink that stars mezcal and Aperol and is also based on the Last Word. The ingredients for the Division Bell cocktail are:

  • Mezcal
  • Aperol
  • Maraschino liqueur
  • Lime juice
Division Bell

The classic version of this drink calls for a grapefruit peel for the garnish. Expressing the oils of the grapefruit peel over the drink is optional, but it adds nice citrus notes and an interesting complexity. It’s worth buying a grapefruit if you’re planning to make the drink!

Naked and Famous vs Division Bell

Both the Naked and Famous and Division Bell cocktails are a great way to use a bottle of mezcal or Aperol, if you have one. Naked and Famous was invented in 2011 by bartender Joaquín Simó while working at the bar Death and Co in New York City. He claims it to be a combination of the famous Last Word and the Paper Plane, another modern classic with Campari and bourbon. What are the flavor differences between the two?

  • Naked and Famous is equal parts mezcal, Aperol, Chartreuse liqueur, and lime juice. Personally we find the Naked and Famous is a little more balanced, sweet and tart with a whisp of smoke.
  • Division Bell has more mezcal than the other components of the drink, making for a smoke-forward sip. It has more of a dry finish and a little less complexity.

Personally, we prefer the Naked and Famous, so you can head to that recipe if desired! However, it does require a specialty liqueur (Chartreuse). If you have maraschino on hand, it’s a great option! We’d experiment with it as an equal parts cocktail to get more of a balanced flavor.

Mezcal

Mezcal adds smoky notes

Mezcal is a famous Mexican alcohol made from the agave plant. If you’ve had a drink at a bar in the last 5 years, you’ve probably tried something with mezcal in it! It’s absolutely worth adding to your collection. Here are some notes on this liquor:

Aperol

All about Aperol

Aperol is an Italian bitter aperitif with a bright orange color and lightly sweet, citrusy flavor. It is most commonly used in the popular Aperol spritz, but you can make many other Aperol cocktails. It tastes lightly sweet, bitter, and balanced, with notes of herbs and citrus.

Another famous Italian aperitif you might know is Campari, the main ingredient in a Negroni. Campari was the first ever aperitif invented in Italy in the 1860’s. Aperol came along in 1919, and it was later bought by the Campari company in the 1990’s. We like using it mixed into cocktails because of the sweetness it brings.

Maraschino liqueur

More about maraschino liqueur

The last liqueur you need for a Division Bell cocktail is Maraschino liqueur. Don’t be fooled as we were when we started out: it’s not the liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries! Here’s what to know about maraschino liqueur:

  • Maraschino liqueur is a clear, cherry flavored liqueur. It was invented in Croatia and is still made there, as well as in Europe and the US. The flavor is mainly dry but lightly sweet, with hints of sour cherry and almond.
  • There are several brands of Maraschino liqueur, the most popular being Luxardo. It should be easy to find at your local liquor store or online.
  • Use up leftovers in classic Maraschino cocktails like the Hemingway Daiquiri, Martinez, Last Word, El Presidente, and the Aviation.

Love the Division Bell cocktail? Here are a few more related drinks you’ll love:

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Division bell cocktail

Division Bell Cocktail


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

The Division Bell cocktail is a must try! Mezcal, Aperol, maraschino liqueur, and lime come together with a bitter, smoky and citrusy depth.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ounce mezcal
  • ¾ ounce Aperol
  • ½ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • Grapefruit peel

Instructions

  1. Place the mezcal, Aperol, maraschino, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Express the oils from the grapefruit peel onto the top of the drink and discard it. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Division Bell cocktail

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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