New York City’s restaurants are in the midst of an epidemic of not-goodness. Sit down in any new dining room, and you are handed a cocktail list. Each drink on this document will have one ingredient you have heard of and seven that were apparently named after distant planets. Sometimes you may think you recognize a cocktail that you like (a good cocktail, in other words), but everything you like about it has been replaced by some other thing that you’re not sure about. “Hello there, that sounds like an old-fashioned!” you think. “But with burdock syrup instead of sugar, Croatian absinthe instead of bourbon, and hemlock bitters instead [...]
When the weather turns cold/apocalyptic, your cocktails need to step it up a notch, and your bitter aperitifs are no exception. Lucky for you, there's Sorel. Full disclosure: Sorel is an artisanal, handcrafted twee little liqueur made in—of COURSE—Brooklyn. So that makes this recipe something of a trend piece! And trend pieces should go with summer drinks (see Aperol!), not fall ones, right? But resisting Sorel is futile because it's good. Really good. Billed as a hibiscus liqueur, Sorel wraps up classic fall flavors like cinnamon, clove, ginger and rhubarb and is versatile enough to both complement or supplement things like sweet vermouth, Campari or other aperitifs.
Humans naturally gravitate toward easy chronologies, since it's how our brains work or whatever. So it's logical that after we all secretly teleported back to the vague (and vaguely historical!) era of "pre-Prohibition" to find a fancy booze culture worth restoring and replicating in metropolises across the globe, we would then creep forward in time from those hazy origins of the late eighteen hundreds or early nineteen hundreds, and revivify and adapt what we found next.
But, recently, as we progressed from Jerry Thomas's Improved Whiskey Cocktail through Harry Craddock's Corpse Reviver #2 and Trader Vic's Planter's Punch, we slipped into the hazy era between the fifties and the [...]
"The dollar per drink you might tip for some “well” alcohol on the rocks is not adequate these days for that Cucumber Basil Crush. Mixologists are becoming chefs, and take special care in how their drinks are assembled and served. And for that reason, I’d tip $2.50 to $3 on a $14 cocktail — even if the bartender isn’t a great conversationalist." —I don't actually disagree with this judgment. If you're drinking $14 cocktails you should be tipping the same way. Which is to say, stupidly.
An aperitif is a bitterish alcoholic beverage that was originally meant to be served before a meal to stimulate the appetite because people in the nineteenth century believed all sorts of wonderful things about alcohol, which they had to drink constantly because water, prior to modern sanitation, was a biohazard. Also it's sort of weird to think that you needed to drink alcohol to become hungry since basically everyone was starving all the time back then.
Anyway, one aperitif is called the negroni. It is a cocktail that is made, typically, with one part gin (a neutral spirit not unlike vodka, but with plant stuff, most commonly and notably, juniper [...]
With the holidays upon us, everyone seems to crave booze a little more than usual. Either you’re hosting, party-hopping or catching a drink with a friend. The temperatures are cold. It's dark by three in the afternoon. Drynuary lurks ahead. And, after it turns out your Christmas Bonus is a subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club, you could use a little pick me up.
This is the time of year I turn to The Artistry Of Mixing Drinks for guidance. This classic was written by Frank Meier, the purported inventor of the Sidecar, who, in the 1920s and '30s, presided over the bar at [...]