Become an At-Home Bartender by Re-creating Quaintrelle Bar Manager Camille Cavan’s Recipe for Je ne sais quoi

The rum-based drink will warm you from the inside and has an indescribable level of elegance.

Je ne sais quoi

Recipe by Camille Cavan, bar manager at Quaintrelle • Photographs by Aaron Lee

When Quaintrelle bar manager Camille Cavan and chef Ryley Eckersley have business meetings, they often find themselves using the term “je ne sais quoi” when discussing menu items. That indescribable level of elegance matches this drink perfectly. If you happen to order it (off-menu) at the Southeast Clinton Street restaurant, Cavan will serve the rum-based cocktail to you in vintage 1950s brass cups, which she found two years ago at Lounge Lizard and had been saving for just the right concoction.


  • 1½ ounces Cruzan Black Strap Rum
  • ½ ounce mint tea demerara
  • 1 ounce St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur
  • ¾ ounce Nardini
  • ½ ounce Dolin Génépy le Chamois Liqueur
  • Crude “Big Bear” Coffee & Cocoa Bitters
  • Marigold Coffee Daydreamer French press
  • Coconut vanilla cream


  • Add all contents, except coffee, in a vessel for hot liquids.
  • Top with French press coffee, approximately 6 ounces.
  • Top with coconut vanilla cream.
  • Garnish with shaved nutmeg and fresh orange zest.