Inspired by a New York Times article on trying to track down a "Frisco" cocktail, I spent a week playing around with the contents of my cabinet and came to two conclusions. Here's the Times article:
Conclusion 1: The Times writer didn't really try very hard, because about half the mixing books I own list a "San Francisco" cocktail that's exactly what he describes as being an obscure cocktail all but lost to memory.
Conclusion 2: None of the "San Francisco" recipes in my books are very good, whereas the couple of variations of what the Times writer calls a "Frisco" are close to excellent. Using various bourbons instead of ryes, I found that this recipe is almost always a winner:
1-1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
Made with Bulleit, it's my new favorite drink, and I preferred it to a Manhattan with almost every bourbon I tried. It even turns out a serviceable cocktail with Jack Daniel's, which not every bourbon cocktail recipe does.