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How to Make a Pimm’s Cup, the Ultimate Summer Sipper

New Yorkers may be more accustomed to the traditions of the U.S. Open (like trekking out to Flushing Meadows on the Long Island Rail Road with a beer), but it’s Wimbledon that inspires Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen (87 Second Avenue; 646-606-2384 and 169 Eighth Avenue; 646-661-7711) owner David Clarke.

At the annual tennis championship in London, the Pimm’s cup is the drink of choice for locals and tourists alike. Tennis or no, it’s a refreshing quaff for outdoor sipping, but finding it here in New York can be a little bit more of a challenge. So Clarke put one on the menu at Cooper’s. “We’ve been open over three years, and we’ve always had a Pimm’s cup, no matter what the season was,” he says. “We think it’s the perfect summer cocktail.”

The drink is made with fresh mint, cucumber, and plenty of citrus. It’s a light cocktail good for any time of day. “I look at it from the nutritional value now,” says Clarke, adding that it’s a good source of vitamin C. “It’s definitely one of the more approachable cocktails. It’s a drink that should be enjoyed over and over again.”

And it fits Clarke’s vision for Cooper’s: When he decided to open a bar and a restaurant in Manhattan, he wanted to mix tradition with a fresh take on cocktails and beer. He found inspiration at Attaboy, which is where he drinks a Pimm’s cup if he’s not sipping one at his own bar.

Pimm’s Cup by David Clarke

2 oz Pimm’s
1 fresh strawberry
1 slice fresh cucumber
1 sprig of fresh mint
1 lime wedge
1 lemon wedge
1 orange slice

Place the strawberry, cucumber, mint, and citrus in a tall glass. Add the Pimm’s and ice. Top off with lemon lime soda and stir.

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How to Make a Great Left Hand Cocktail

When it comes to cocktails, it takes a special kind of drink to pull Marc Forgione bar manager Cary S. Goldberg away from something involving gin. But after a trip to Kentucky left him with a newfound appreciation of bourbon, he found himself frequently opting for a left hand cocktail.

Discovering the drink was, in Goldberg’s own words, like finding “a gift.” A night out with a friend on the Lower East Side introduced him to what first appeared to be a bourbon negroni, though he soon learned the recipe was slightly different.

“It’s bitter and it’s sweet, but not too sweet,” Goldberg says. “It’s got some of my favorite components, and it’s kind of a twist on an old favorite.” Working alongside chef Forgione, Goldberg was encouraged to put his own twist on the classic recipe, and found that substituting mezcal for bourbon helped keep the integrity of the drink intact while offering something new.

“We have a huge mezcal program, and it’s all about the story and Oaxaca,” he says. “We support good stories.” Vermouth helps tie the drink together, and, says Goldberg, “really makes the cocktail.”

When not enjoying his own version, Goldberg hits Attaboy — the bar where he was introduced to the drink — and Ward III for this tipple.

The Left Hand by Cary S. Goldberg

2 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon*
3/4 oz. Cocchi vermouth di Torino (Carpano is always nice, but I love Cocchi)
3/4 oz. Campari
2 dashes Xocolatl mole bitters

Stir, strain, and serve up with a grapefruit peel.​

*Goldberg’s version at Marc Forgione substitutes mezcal for bourbon as the base spirit.

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Here’s How to Make a Martinez Cocktail

“The martinez is one of the classics that doesn’t get as much lip service,” says Molly Cohen, beverage director of SixtyFive and the Rainbow Room, who believes good wine and cocktails go hand in hand — and that the martinez’s relative obscurity is a crying shame.

While the history is muddy, the cocktail was likely invented when the bartenders of nineteenth-century Martinez, California, mixed Old Tom gin, sweet vermouth, and maraschino, to their guests’ delight. Due to the town’s proximity to San Francisco, the drink took off.

One of the key aspects to the martinez is the use of aged gin. Old Tom adds a layer of smokiness to the concoction, and the deployment of maraschino and sweet vermouth differentiates it from a martini, a cocktail that hit the bar around the same time.

Cohen enjoys the drink so much that she decided to put a version of it on her menu. She calls her twist the Vote for Pedro. Dried curaçao provides notes of citrus, adding fruit to the smoke. “This liqueur doesn’t have that syrupy finish,” she says. “You’re going to get a better cocktail. You can have more of them.”

When not hanging about the refurbished Rainbow Room and its new terrace, Cohen enjoys grabbing a martinez and other classic drinks at Whitehall.

The recipes for both the classic and updated take on the martinez can be found below.

The Martinez (Molly Cohen’s version)

2 oz Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin
3/4 oz Punt e Mes (instead of sweet vermouth)
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino (instead of Cointreau or triple sec — blends great with Punt e Mes)
Dash of angostura bitters

Method:
Add ice and stir. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Vote for Pedro

2 oz Greenhook Old Tom gin
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao
1/2 oz Emilio Lustau Pedro Ximenez sherry
2 dashes orange bitters

Stir in mixing glass over ice and strain into a coupe. Garnish with an orange peel.

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Here’s Why You Should Mix Mezcal With Grapefruit Juice

Spencer Elliott, head bartender at Bounce Sporting Club (55 West 21st Street; 212-675-8007 and 1403 Second Ave; 212-535-2183), loves winding down with a mezcal and grapefruit juice.

“Mezcal has that tequila bite, with the smokiness of a scotch,” he says. “After a long night of work, I don’t need to be knocked on my ass, so I like the addition of the fresh grapefruit and lime to give it a really citrusy taste.”

Elliott’s experience behind the stick started at a fist-pumping bar in Murray Hill. “It’s kind of where I learned to just be quick,” he says. The experience also helped him develop his personality when conversing with customers. Appreciating classic cocktails and drinks for their taste came a bit later.

At Vero Wine Bar as well as Bounce, Elliott learned the ins and outs of what to focus on to make a drink taste good. Increasing his knowledge of not only cocktails but wine, Elliott was able to add the finer points of bartending to his repertoire. “My progression with alcohol has been as scary as most people’s,” he says. “I started with rum, then to gin, then vodka; now I’m finally at the tequila stage. My palate has developed with my interest in craft cocktails.”

The hook of smokiness and tequila led Elliott to mezcal, for which he found a perfect partner in sweet grapefruit juice. “I love grapefruit,” he says. “Orange juice and pineapple juice are all great, but I feel like the citrus, the tart, the ruby redness, it’s a little sweeter — it’s an easy fruit juice to work with.”

Elliott also likes the tequila mule, and he enjoys grabbing drinks on the Upper East Side at the Gilroy and Infirmary.

Mezcal with Grapefruit Juice
by Spencer Elliott
2 oz mezcal (I use Ilegal)
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
splash of lime
on ice

For the version at Bounce Sporting Club, Elliott uses Ruby Red grapefruit juice and adds a house-made jalapeño syrup.

Tequila Mule
2 oz Don Julio blanco
1/2 oz lime
top with ginger beer

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Here’s the Secret to a Great Mai Tai

It doesn’t always hold that a bartender’s favorite drink directly correlates to the bar he or she trains in, but it’s certainly a pattern in this column — perhaps, as with romances, you never forget your first love. And Colin Bryson, beverage manager at Asia de Cuba (415 Lafayette Street, 212-726-7755), provides another data point to support the trend. Bryson spent a good deal of his early bartending life training under Valentin Gonzalez at now-defunct tiki bar Painkiller, where he learned the ins and outs of the bar business and what he enjoyed the most in a well-made cocktail.

“Working at Painkiller, I got really into rum heavy early on,” he says. “I had my first mai tai at Painkiller. At first, it was the best drink I ever had. I was still learning about drinks.” With time, Bryson developed a fond appreciation for the Trader Vic version, among other mai tais, and it is one that always elicits a great memory.

“With tiki drinks, especially rum drinks, oftentimes there are five to nine ingredients,” Bryson explains. “It’s a whole different way of balancing drinks, a whole different set of specs, so many different kinds of rum. There aren’t too many whiskey drinks where there are four different kinds of whiskey.”

But while the rums make the drink interesting, Bryson considers another ingredient the secret to making the mai tai great: orgeat. “Orgeat is the greatest sweetener of all time because of the viscosity,” he says.

Orgeat starts with a fresh almond milk made by blending almonds with water; you then mix in two types of sugar and amaretto. It adds texture and flavor to the mai tai, and other drinks for which it’s an ingredient.

Now that Painkiller is no more, Bryson constantly seeks out mai tais at other bars around the city and world. “I actually had a mai tai at Experimental Cocktail Club [in London], and the spec that they’re using…was super-delicious,” he says. “I imagine they do something similar [here in New York].” He’s also a fan of the tiki drinks at The Happiest Hour.

The recipes for both the traditional Trader Vic’s mai tai and Bryson’s rendition are listed below.

Trader Vic’s Mai Tai (circa 1944)
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/8 ounce orgeat
3/8 ounce curaçao
1 1/2 ounce Jamaican rum
Float of overproof rum

Shake ingredients and serve over crushed ice in a tiki mug. Garnish with a bouquet of mint and a lime wheel.

Trader Vic’s mai tai, interpreted by Colin Bryson
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/8 ounce orgeat
3/8 ounce curaçao
3/4 ounce Plantation Jamaica Cask 2001
1/2 ounce Barbancourt 5 Star
1/4 ounce Rhum JM VSOP
Float of Smith & Cross

Shake ingredients and serve over crushed ice in a tiki mug. Garnish with a healthy bouquet of mint, lime wheel, orchid, and a dusting of confectionery sugar. (Go nuts on accoutrement!)

*Orgeat is made by blending almonds with water into a fresh almond milk and combining it with white sugar, demerara sugar, rose water, and amaretto.

*Curaçao is made by combining Dry Pierre Ferrand curaçao with demerara sugar at a ratio of 3:1.

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Here’s a Recipe for — and a Spin on — the Rye-Whiskey-Based Remember the Maine

Jason Wagner may spend most of his time discussing wine at Fung Tu (22 Orchard Street, 212-219-8785), but that doesn’t mean the sommelier doesn’t have a fondness for the world outside of grapes.

Wagner’s go-to classic drink is the Remember the Maine, and it inspires one of Fung Tu’s specialty cocktails, Remember the Mainland. However, if it hadn’t been for a quirky Brooklyn bar promotion, Wagner may not have found the drink at all. At Williamsburg’s Dram one night, Wagner opted to go with the bar’s dealer’s-choice option, leaving his fate up to the bartender. He was rewarded with the Remember the Maine, and in his own words, was “blown away” after tasting the drink. “Being primarily a wine guy, this is complex…it became my go-to cocktail,” he says.

Rye — the base of the drink — is essential, he says, so don’t sub in bourbon or another whiskey. “Because it’s sweet and spicy, using [rye] as opposed to regular bourbon, you’re already operating with an extra layer of flavor,” he says. “I wanted to do a take on it at Fung Tu, mostly because it’s one of my favorite things. The balance is really impressive. I can have one and be thought-provoked and/or just refreshed.”

In addition to Dram, Wagner says PDT makes an exceptional version of the drink.

The recipe for Fung Tu’s take is listed below, and below that, you’ll find the original recipe.

Remember the Mainland
by Jason Wagner

2 oz Old Grand-Dad Whiskey
1/2 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
ice cubes
flamed orange peel for garnish

Combine ice and all ingredients (except bitters) in a mixing glass and stir. Add bitters and garnish with a flamed orange peel.

Remember the Maine

2 oz rye
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 bar-spoons cherry heering
1/2 bar-spoon absinthe

Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir vigorously.

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How to Make the Sazerac and the Tommy’s Margarita, Two American Cocktail Treasures

Chris Skillern is a Texan at heart, which is what attracted him to the newly opened Javelina (119 East 18th Street; 212-539-0202), which focuses on Tex-Mex cuisine. However, when the general manager — who can often be seen behind the bar fixing up drinks — isn’t feeling a thematically appropriate margarita (one made with agave and not triple sec), he leans on an old New Orleans invention for comfort: the sazerac.

To pay his way through school while studying film at the University of Texas in Austin, Skillern wound up waiting tables at a 24-hour diner, where the menu doled options like chicken and waffles and hash. It was here that he discovered the sazerac, and once he tried it, he found himself returning to it time and time again. But it took him awhile to try it. “I literally smelled it and wouldn’t drink it for a week,” he says. “I finally drank one and it changed my life. The expectation and turning it around intrigued me so much.”

After moving to New York after college, one of Skillern’s first jobs put him in touch with New Orleans native LJ Hollins. The Crescent City resident helped educate Skillern on cocktails, preaching the gospel of balance when it came to acidity and bitters. Additionally, Skillern’s role in helping to open Harding’s, an all-American spirits establishment that concentrated on classic drinks, deepened his love of cocktail versatility.

The composition of the sazerac — the mix of rye, anise (or absinthe), and sugar — is what really drew Skillern in. The overpowering aroma of black licorice gives way to the slight burn of rye, then adds in an enticing element of sweetness. “When you drink it, it goes down so smooth and so clean,” he says, which is not what you’d expect after a sniff of the glass. “Powerful aroma, an educational, intellectual exercise, it’s got a lot of sugar in it, so it’s pretty easy to finish…Because it has those multiple phases, it can go for anybody.”

Sazerac

2 oz Rye Whiskey (either the classic Sazerac Rye, or WhistlePig Rye)
2-3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Splash of water or soda water
sugar cube
1/2 oz Herbsaint Liqueur

Start by filling a rocks glass with ice and Herbsaint liqueur and set aside.

Then take a mixing glass, drop in the sugar cube followed by Peychaud’s bitters and a splash of water or soda water. (I usually use soda water, as it makes it easier to muddle the sugar cube.) Muddle the cube in the water and Peychaud’s and top with your chosen rye whiskey. Add rocks and stir.

Go back to your rocks glass with Herbsaint and either discard the contents or place in another rocks glass for sazerac no. 2. Careful when dumping the Herbsaint to cover all the surface area of the rocks glass.

Strain your mixing glass into the rocks glass, cut a small lemon peel, squeeze over the cocktail, and leave on the rim. (Some like to discard the lemon; I prefer to leave the garnish!)

Javelina “Traditional Margarita” / Tommy’s Margarita

Skillern also offered up the traditional and famous Tommy’s Margarita recipe, which comes from Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, for those who, like him, are Texans at heart.

2 oz Tequila (Dulce Vida Blanco)
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
3/4 to 1 oz Agave syrup to taste (50 percent Agave Nectar, 50 percent Water)

Shake and serve Javelina-style on the rocks with a half-salted rim and lime.

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Recipe: The Boulevardier Is for Those Who Can’t Decide Between a Negroni and Manhattan

Tim Harris, owner of Manhattan Cricket Club (226 West 79th Street, second floor; 646-823-9252) and Burke & Wills (226 West 79th Street; 646-823-9251), can thank his family for his line of work. The native of Australia started working in restaurants at eight years old, and he has held every job imaginable in the restaurant industry, from his early days bussing tables at his parents’ place to learning how to tend bar at a classic Victorian hotel. Through all of those experiences, he’s come to appreciate classic things, like the boulevardier.

Having learned the trade from a woman who was “very specific about classic cocktails,” says Harris, he came to New York in 2007 on an adventure and has found a home away from home. Knowing how to make boozy libations helped him establish himself at New York’s Australia-themed spots, like the Sunburnt Cow and Bondi Road. However, if not for a natural disaster, Harris may not have been in the position that he finds himself today. “When the hurricane [Sandy] knocked out the Sunburnt Cow, it sucked the life out of other businesses,” says Harris. That’s when Harris moved uptown to the Upper West Side and took over the lease at his current location.

That’s also when Harris met veteran mixologist Greg Seider of The Summit Bar, who had a profound impact on his taste buds. Seider made Harris a boulevardier, and it became an instant member of Harris’s go-to cocktail arsenal.

“When Greg first made it for me, it fell right into my wheelhouse,” Harris says. “My classic go-to was always the manhattan, and that came from my grandfather.” The boulevardier also felt like a personal connection: Harris’s mentor in Australia was Italian and championed the power of the negroni, another cocktail made with Campari.

“[The boulevardier] is the lovechild of a negroni and a manhattan,” he says. “It’s a great drink for someone who likes whiskey but doesn’t want it full on as a manhattan. It’s been around since the Twenties. It’s evolved a little bit. You can twist on it really nicely. It still holds the major elements.”

A boulevardier is typically one part whiskey, one part Campari, and one part sweet vermouth, but Seider and Harris have played with the recipe a bit for the version on their menu. Harris enjoys putting a little more emphasis on the whiskey when making the drink to let it shine through more, which can help mix up the flavor profiles and possibilities. After the duo was introduced to Cappelletti, an Italian aperitivo, the bitter element the spirit brought to the drink could not be replaced.

Harris recommends the drink for those who appreciate spirit-heavy bold flavors, and those torn between negronis and manhattans. In addition to Summit Bar, he enjoys grabbing a classic cocktail at Maison Premiere.

Boulevardier of Broken Dreams

2 dashes orange bitters
3/4 oz. Dolin Rouge Vermouth
3/4 oz. Cappelletti Aperitivo
1 1/2 oz. Knob Creek Small Batch Rye

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir about 50 times.
Strain over a single large ice cube into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a large orange peel.

When not in the mood for boulevardiers, Harris also has a few go-to cocktails he uses to test out bartenders. “If someone can make a really good daiquiri and old-fashioned..if they can do those well, I’m going to stay for a few hours,” he says.

Old-Fashioned

2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes aromatic bitters
1/4 oz. agave syrup (50/50 light agave nectar/water)
2 oz. High West Double Rye

Place all ingredients in mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir until very cold (approximately 30 to 45 seconds). Strain over a single large ice cube in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a thick slice of orange peel.

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How to Make the Dark ‘n’ Stormy From Williamsburg’s New Billet & Bellows

Billet & Bellows (177 Grand Street, Brooklyn; 347-294-4642) may be one of Williamsburg’s newest bars, but its owner, Kristina Kozak, has been a fixture in the neighborhood for almost two decades. A metal artist whose work can be seen throughout the hip enclave, Kozak had the foresight to purchase the bar’s building during the borough’s pre-gentrification days. The address has been home to everything from an art gallery to an antiques store; this is the first time the ground floor has had a full-service bar, complete with food, open to the public.

Kozak tapped into her own favorite drinks for the opening menu, and she’s serving a version of her very favorite cocktail, the dark ‘n’ stormy.

“You have to keep up with what is going on,” she says. “We put together a good-size cocktail menu,” which includes a section devoted to old standbys. The dark ‘n’ stormy evokes a sense of island life for Kozak — Bermuda, to be exact — and she suggests trying it especially if you’re looking to learn more about rum.

“The real dark rum is great in a drink instead of any kind of rum,” she says. “Ginger beer is very strong, really interesting-tasting…It’s straightforward.”

This is the first time Kozak has ventured into the world of food and beverages, and with that came a learning curve.

“You have to be completely on point constantly,” she says. “I’m not afraid of a big project at all. This was challenging because you really had to multitask. You really have to be focused.” Thankfully, living in Williamsburg provided her great access to many successful bars, particularly Hotel Delmano, which is one of her go-to spots in the neighborhood to grab a drink.

Another favorite cocktail of Kozak’s, and one you’ll find on the menu here, is a greyhound — the bar’s version adds rosemary to modify the traditional grapefruit and vodka combination. The recipes for both drinks are below.

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy
2 ounces of Gosling’s Black Seal rum
5 ounces ginger beer
lime wedge
ice

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour rum over ice, then fill with ginger beer. Add lime wedge.

Rosemary-Infused Greyhound
Splash rosemary simple syrup
1.5 ounces Tito’s vodka
4 ounces grapefruit juice
Sprig of rosemary for garnish

Pour all ingredients in a glass with ice. Stir. Garnish with rosemary.

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Recipe: Fall in Love With the Fizzy Aperol Spritz

Meaghen Grace, bartender at Upholstery Store: Food and Wine (713 Washington Street, 212-929-6384) in the West Village, began her career composing drinks in upstate New York. After moving downstate for college, she realized she had a knack for providing liquid solutions for customers’ life troubles. However, like many aspiring professionals, Grace had to start somewhere before she found what area interested her the most — and that meant slinging drinks in New York’s club scene, which gave her plenty of practice in quality and quantity, but not variety. “The club scene, you don’t really get to experiment with interesting, new inventions,” she says. “You can do fun shots every now and again.” And so she fell in love instead with the cocktail world.

The boredom of the disco beat propelled Grace to further her education by helping create cocktail and wine lists, and her position at the newly opened Upholstery — which emphasizes seasonal ingredients and classic recipes — is one of the reasons she enjoys fixing up an Aperol spritz.

“I always love anything fizzy,” she says. “Prosecco. Cava. Anything that has a bubbliness to it is really fun.” The fizz is what gives the drink a textural difference that appeals to Grace, but it’s not the only reason she likes it. “I change a lot. I used to love margaritas. As my palate developed more, I craved that amaro bitterness…fruity but still complex kind of taste. I think it’s a beautiful, elegant cocktail with a vibrant reddish-pinkish hue. It looks like something you want to drink, fancy.”

Aside from its taste, texture, and appearance, the Aperol spritz is a drink Grace knows that’s hard to get wrong when she’s playing the role of customer. “You go to another bar, it’s an easy kind of thing to order,” she says. “Chances are they aren’t going to screw it up too bad.” The same goes for her love of the margarita — she still considers the drink a good backup every now and then, though you won’t find salt near her glass.

Order the drinks at Upholstery, or Grace recommends Vella Wine Bar and The Gilroy, especially for those, like herself, who live on the Upper East Side.

Aperol Spritz
1 ounce Aperol
4 ounces sparkling wine (Grace prefers Champagne, and Cava is suggested too)
Twist of an orange
Optional: Add ice if desired.

Mix all ingredients in a glass. Enjoy.

Margarita
1 ounce tequila
1 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce Cointreau
Ice

Shake all ingredients. Strain into a glass. Enjoy.

Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice.