This cocktail from The Spotted Pig is more complex than it looks—this is a cocktail drinker's cocktail, not a syrupy Kir Royale.
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The natural choice of spirits for a light, vegetal cocktail is vodka. To brighten things up a skosh, I infused crisp Monopolowa vodka with thick swaths of orange zest, removed with a potato peeler (taking care to leave the bitter pith behind).
This one's a cidery twist on white sangria, with a sparkling semidry cider and fruit infused with ice cider to add tons of rich fruit flavor. Feel free to substitute whatever local fruit is in season.
It's easy to reimagine light, fruit juice-based drinks as jelly shots, but what about more serious cocktails? For my first foray into the world of Jelly Shot Test Kitchen I decided to tackle a classic, the Old Fashioned, to see how it would fare in jelly form.
These gin-based Herbaltinis are like a California-fied Tom Collins, all gin and citrus with bright green herbal notes that carry through the cool, refreshing drink. Adapted from The Sunset Cookbook, this is the kind of cocktail I imagine mixing up if I had a gorgeous Southern California backyard filled with citrus trees and bushy patches of fresh herbs. But even when mixed up in the dead of winter from supermarket produce and herbs, this cocktail was fresh and light, a sort of winter pick-me-up thanks in equal parts to the citrusy summery flavors and the gin.
Where does the legendary James Beard come into play with this recipe? Well, Beard was known to favor a glass of Champagne as an aperitif, perhaps the bubbly base for this punch had a little something to to with that. It's a classy, heady mix of Champagne (or more economically, prosecco, cava, or any other dry sparkler), Cognac, Cointreau, and orange and lemon juices—the kind of drink that goes down a little too easy.
Although this recipe for Ginger Soda makes a fine quaff, I'd like to urge you to think of it as a template for creating other non-alcoholic drinks for party guests. The basic idea is simple: you create a flavored syrup,...
For a stress-free bash, I recommend making bottled cocktails in advance. This recipe makes a killer Negroni that will stun and delight millions of people! Okay, maybe just eight people.
An Old-Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail is a simple mixture of whiskey, sugar, bitters and a citrus peel. It is a sublimely simple and delicious preparation for a wide range of spirits besides just whiskey—rum, tequila, brandy—and a fine apple brandy is no exception. Showcasing the earthy flavor of fermented apples with just a bit of sugar and bitters is a perfect preparation to enjoy classic holiday flavors in a new way.
A marriage of the Cosmopolitan and the Kir Royale, Champagne gets dressed up with cranberry juice and Triple Sec. Alcoholic, slightly sweet, and slightly tart, and you'll be thankful you took a few sips of this festive cocktail.
On the Cocktails episode of Throwdown, Flay found himself pitted against Tobin Ellis, Vegas bartender extraordinaire. It was one of those challenges where Flay shouldn't have stood a chance but thanks to a consult with cocktail guru Dale Degroff, Flay was able to come up with a rum-based cocktail took the prize. With sweet chunks of pineapple, herbal notes from basil and mint, a spicy ginger syrup, and rich float of coconut cream, The Thowndown Cocktail won the judges over. I mixed up a pitcher of these Throwdown!-inspired cocktails at home—it only took one sip to figure out why Flay was the winner of this challenge. The mix was sweet and tropical, but with enough bright and sour notes to keep it from being cloying.
Photo: Yana Volfson This drink from Yana Volfson at Peels, a liquid tribute to rocker Joey Ramone, uses all American ingredients, from the Laird's Applejack, made in New Jersey, to Kedem grape juice, made from New York Concord grapes....
Bonny McKenzie, who has worked at the Wine Cellar since its opening, is often called "Bunz." She took a classic martini, gave it a Chartreuse rinse and a flamed orange peel garnish, creating the Toasty Bunz.