California Bar’s Golden Cadillac Driving Galliano Sales Again

A single restaurant bar, located in a tiny Sierra Nevada Foothills town of 1,400 residents, serves more Galliano liqueur than any restaurant chain, liquor retailer, hotel or cruise line in the world. How?

Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q in El Dorado, CA, is where the Golden Cadillac cocktail—a blend of Galliano, white crème de cacao and cream—was invented some 65 years ago. As the legend goes, a couple visited Poor Red’s in 1952 to celebrate their engagement. They asked bartender Frank Klein to create a special cocktail that would match their newly purchased gold-colored Cadillac.

After several versions, the final recipe became known worldwide as the Golden Cadillac. The drink made Poor Red’s the largest consumer of Galliano in North America; the sweet herbal liqueur ran an advertising campaign promoting the Golden Cadillac in the late 1960s.

Poor Red’s, opened by Red Sadler and his wife Opal in 1948, has gone through a few owners in its nearly 70 years. The roadhouse closed for about two years until new owners reopened it in April 2016.

Guest enthusiasm for its signature cocktail hadn’t dimmed: Since the reopening, Poor Red’s has sold more than 31,000 Golden Cadillacs and gone through over 200 cases of Galliano. General manager Steve Anderly says that the average lifespan of a 750-ml. bottle of Galliano at Poor Red’s is about an hour and a half.

Now that the bar has reclaimed its status as the largest consumer of Galliano in the world, a representative from Galliano is presenting Poor Red’s with a plaque this month to commemorate the achievement.

Here’s Poor Red’s recipe for the Golden Cadillac:

1 ¼ oz. Galliano
1 oz. Bols white crème de cacao
1 ½ oz. Half and half

Add Galliano and white crème de cacao to blender and blend well with ice. Add half and half until very smooth. Pour into a Champagne coupe or sidecar glass.

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