1 1⁄2 oz Bourbon
3⁄4 oz Averna
1⁄2 oz Campari
1⁄4 oz Lemon juice
1 twst Lemon peel (Expressed)

Shake with ice, strain to coupe with ice ball (hence the name), express & discard lemon peel.

Cocktail summary
Created by
Dewberry Hotel, Charleston, SC
Is of
unknown authenticity
4 stars
4 stars
(28 ratings)
Cocktail Book
Log in or sign up to start building your Cocktail Book.
From other users
  • A good drink but a little overworked. Averna AND Campari seems a little. Better w/ an extra ½oz lemon. — ★★★★
  • To try
  • Seemed to be a bit smoky with Luxardo Bitter substituted for Campari.
  • Used 1/2 lemon for a more tart balance. — ★★★★★
  • Friend gets chocolate finish. I get Angostura flavors. The ice in a coupe seems like a pointless gimmick to me. — ★★★★
  • I agree with the comments to go heavy on the cherry heering. Leave out the ice ball, too big for our coupes.
Similar cocktails
  • Liberal (Averna) — Bourbon, Sweet vermouth, Averna, Orange bitters
  • Fallback — Rye, Applejack, Amaro Montenegro, Sweet vermouth, Peychaud's Bitters, Orange peel
  • The Killing Floor — Rye, Bigallet China-China, Sweet vermouth, Bonal Gentiane Quina, Orange peel
  • Novecento — Cognac, Sweet vermouth, Campari, Maraschino Liqueur, Bitters, Peychaud's Bitters, Lemon juice, Lemon peel
  • Private Club Cocktail — Cognac, Amaro Nonino, Bitters, Lemon juice, Maple syrup, Lemon peel
  • Boulevard des Rêves — Bourbon, Sweet vermouth, Campari, Rum
  • Dangerous Affair — Gold rum, Jamaican rum, Vodka, Sweet vermouth, Campari, Bitters, Lemon juice
  • Full Metal Jacket — Rum, Canadian whisky, Averna, Grapefruit peel, Lemon peel
  • Midtown — Bourbon, Reposado Tequila, Ramazzotti, Sweet vermouth, Orange bitters, Bitters, Orange peel
  • A Moment of Silence — Rye, Apricot liqueur, Averna, Bitters, Apple brandy, Campari, Orange peel

Question: Shake with or without ice? If without ice, why not simply stir? Discard the lemon zest? Maybe drop it into the libation if so inclined, perhaps for a tad more flavor, but some color, for sure.

Regardless, the Panic Button is a great drink. Somewhat bitter, but also tangy. For the bourbon, I used Bulleit Bourbon. It's strong flavors enable it to butt heads with the Campari. The cherry flavor, however, suffers somewhat because of the choice of Bourbon and the Camari. I rated this libation at 4.0. Some might say 4.5. In any event, it's a drink to enjoy.

Shake with ice. I'd have thought this was implied by common style (in contrast to "dry shake"), but have edited the recipe for clarity.

Feel free to do what you want with the zest, but Dewberry Hotel doesn't use them as a garnish (and the recipe in Imbibe didn't even have the detail to express, though their YouTube video did).

On my second effort, I used Maker's Mark for the Bourbon, and a skinny "fat" 1/2 oz Cherry Herring, and a skinny 1/4 oz lemon juice. Overall, the drink had a more balanced flavor. In short, I recommend using Maker's Mark or Buffalo Trace for the Bourbon, and a tad more than 1/2 oz for the Cherry Herring. I, personally, prefer slightly less than the called-for 1/4 oz lemon--but that's a matter of personal taste. I still rate Panic Button 4.0, even with the above mentioned changes. With a flip of the coin, however, I might go to 4.5.

From the video, it seems that the Dewberry Hotel uses Four Roses (standard yellow label). When I tried it, I used Old Gran Dad 114.