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Credit: Pieter Morlion


Here's the recipe to Leonard Cohen's notorious cocktail 'The Red Needle'


There are far too many cases of hyperbolic rhetoric so=urrounding our favourite rock and rollers. We should know. But there was always something special about the poet turned folk hero, Leonard Cohen. The artist was a man famed for his powerful words and potent songs most prominently.

Often pitted against other singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen always had an extra ace up his sleeve that nobody could match, in the form of a knock-out potion or cocktail that he liked to call ‘The Red Needle’. Below, we’ve got our hands on that very recipe.

The Tequila-based drink was created by the poetic and hedonistic mind of Cohen while he was staying in Needle, California, in 1975 and it is a heavy dose of everything the Canadian musician was made out to be. Sharp, punchy and able to make your head swirl with just one sip. It was a potent concoction.

The singer whose hits such as ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Hallelujah’ alongside his cantankerous artiste persona helped create a rich legacy like no other prior to his death in 2016. Cohen, who passed away shortly after releasing his fourteenth studio album You Want It Darker, continues to influence the industry after his song, Daniel Cohen, posthumously released the album Thanks For The Dance in 2019 to critical acclaim.

As such a pivotal figure in the global community, Cohen was a singer, songwriter, and poet who was deeply entrenched in New York and his faith. The artist spent much of his life in the concrete jungle and so it was only fitting that just last year he was remembered by New York City’s The Jewish Museum. One of many more to come, one would expect.

The exhibit looked at Leonard Cohen’s remarkable impact on the society and musical world he so keenly observed with his words.

The show, called Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, featured “large-scale, immersive works by artists who have been inspired by Cohen, a video projection showcasing Cohen’s own drawings, and a multimedia gallery where visitors can listen to covers of Cohen’s songs by musicians such as Feist and The National with Sufjan Stevens.”

The museum went the whole nine yards and replicated Cohen’s infamous drink, ‘The Red Needle’, at the museum bar. The recipe for which you can find below, but we’re warning you, this isn’t for the faint-hearted and is capable of knocking you off your feet without so much of a second thought.

Leonard Cohen’s cocktails recipe:

Into one a tall glass about half full of crushed ice pour and drop:

60ml Tequila (2oz)
1 slice lemon
Fill the glass to the top with Cranberry Juice

Who’s having a Red Needle?