Sandra Lee Drinks the "One-Thumbed Gypsy"

On Cooking Channel's "Sandra Lee's Taverns, Lounges & Clubs," Sandra scored a behind-the-bar lesson on the Tippling Bros "One-Thumbed Gypsy" cocktail. Get the recipe.

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One-Thumbed Gypsy

Starting October 17 at 10:30pm ET on Cooking Channel, Sandra Lee's Taverns, Lounges & Clubs will take you into the coolest bars in America for one-of-a-kind cocktails. Among the neighborhood watering holes and elegant cocktail lounges featured on the show, Sandra visits Chicago's chic tapas bar Tavernita and Barcito to score a behind-the-bar lesson from master mixologist Tad Carducci of Tippling Bros.

He shares the story (and recipe) of his amazing cocktail creation, the "One-Thumbed Gypsy":

A couple of years ago I was traveling in southern Spain.  While in Sevilla, my companions and I kept hearing about an incredible flamenco troupe that was headed by a legendary old guitar player.  He had played around the world for many years and garnered a reputation as a true virtuoso.  Recently he lost a thumb in an accident and disappeared, seemingly into obscurity.  After a year in seclusion, he re-emerged and had completely re-taught himself how to play without the use of his thumb.

I was privileged enough to see him perform, and it was an utterly life-changing experience.  This is my humble homage.

… And the shrimp is supposed to be his other thumb.

1 serving


1 1/2 ounces cachaca, such as Leblon cachaca

1 ounce Red Pepper Saffron Syrup, recipe follows

3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/4 ounce fresh orange juice

Ice, for chilling
3 drops bitters, such as Bitter End Moroccan bitters

Thinly sliced red bell peppers, for garnish

1 shrimp, grilled, for garnish

Red Pepper Saffron Syrup:
4 red bell peppers, pith and seeds removed, roughly chopped

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

20 threads saffron


Combine the cachaca, Red Pepper Saffron Syrup, lemon juice and orange juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Dash the bitters on top for aroma. Garnish with thinly sliced red bell peppers and the shrimp.

Red Pepper Saffron Syrup:

Puree the peppers in a blender with about 1/2 cup water. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan. Add the sugar, 2 1/2 cups water, the paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder and saffron. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Yield: 4 cups.

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