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behind the bar: pharmacie’s the lutheran

by Kristina Gill


I have managed to be swept into the cocktail fold by virtue of editing and producing the Behind the Bar column.  I have started to taste new spirits, and have started exploring any cocktails made with ginger beer, starting with my favorite Dark and Stormy.  I was therefore quite enticed when Talmadge from Pharmacie sent over two cocktail recipes this summer.  One for the Roman Holiday, and this week’s cocktail, The Lutheran.  I was enticed by the latter because of the ginger beer, and the ‘religion’ aspect, living in Rome and all…religion always comes up in conversation in some form or another.  I love the citrus in this drink, which is undeniably on the sweeter side.  Choose a strong ginger beer to get the most out of it.  –Kristina


About Pharmacie

Talmadge Lowe began his days behind the bar at Orso in NYC, where cocktails mattered long before the recent boom in cocktail culture.  Not long after relocating to LA, he founded Pharmacie: a private, underground speakeasy with an emphasis on cocktail creation and experimentation. Now turned public, Pharmacie is available for any and all craft cocktail needs. Always happy to tend to the thirsty, Pharmacie (and Talmadge) is available for private events, small or large, as well as mixology workshops, cocktail programs, and lectures on the craft.  Talmadge and his Pharmacie barmen are nothing short of cocktail specialists who take cues from the classics, honor the standards and invent original ideas with every drink they create.  Try Pharmacie’s 1966 Cosmopolitan in our archives.

See Talmadge’s recipe for The Lutheran, and how it got its name, after the jump.


The Lutheran

  • 1 oz bourbon
  • Splash fresh lime juice
  • 3 dash Angostura bitters
  • Ginger Beer (I like Jamaica’s Finest)
  • Tangerine Wheel

Combine all ingredients (except Ginger Beer) in a High Ball glass without ice. Stir. Fill the glass 2/3 with the Ginger Beer, then add ice. Top with a Tangerine Wheel garnish.


Why Talmadge loves this cocktail

This cocktail is inspired by an old drink called The Presbyterian. I’ve “reformed” it a bit, hence The Lutheran.  The ginger beer is the spice, the lime is the tart, the bourbon the sweet and some bitters for good measure. It’s a very simple  and very refreshing cocktail, good any time of year.  A great drink for even the most skeptical cocktail drinker

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  • I was real excited about this drink’s story, being Lutheran myself. However, Lutherans came about as a reformation from the Catholic church, and nearly all other protestant reformations happened because of that. I was hoping for more of a “one time in this bar, I met a Lutheran…” and so on story.
    It still sounds like a delicious drink though and I’d actually really like to give it a try. So, thank you for sharing!

  • Just wondering if it was a fluke that you chose Bundaberg Ginger Beer for your shot of ‘The Lutheran’? There are two major areas where Lutherans settled in Australia. One area, where I grew up, is the Barossa in South Australia and the other is near Bundaberg in Queensland, where my father grew up, and where they make the ginger beer you pictured. Annnd… that’s the end of my lutheran trivia for the day.

  • I wonder how this would be with “Crabbies” alcoholic ginger beer? Might be a bit much…Slainte!

  • Hi Larissa, yes total fluke! Bundaberg is my favorite ginger beer to date, and only one of three I’ve been able to find in Rome. Fever Tree, and another brand I can’t remember the name of. Thanks for the trivia!!

  • Where is that small carafe in the last photo from? The one holding the citrus juice? I absolutely must have it!

  • Hi Jenny! I bought it from a flea market stand that sells old gardening tools. It was one of several bottles found when someone dug up their backyard. Interestingly enough another bottle I bought with it was a soda bottle from the early 1900s with the wooden screw top still in tact. You can see that in the post on Antonio Nocito

  • Hi Molly–

    The glasses are from IKEA, I bought this summer, in clear (above), emerald, and cobalt. They were Euro 1.50 a piece. I like them a lot! -Kristina