When Allison Lindsey, the head bartender at Baltimore’s Bar Vasquez, is juicing cucumbers for this salty riff on the Bee’s Knees, she starts with no more than a teaspoon or so of sea salt per quart. “You have your sweet, your bitter, your salty and the aromatics,” she says. “It makes a great well-balanced cocktail and something a little unexpected.”
With some tomato but also other ingredients to tone it down and chill it out, this cocktail by Brian Bartels, of New York City’s Fedora and the author of The Bloody Mary: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, with Recipes for Brunch and Beyond (Ten Speed Press, $19), includes an ounce of tomato juice. But it’s tempered by cucumber, gin and ginger beer, yielding a refreshing quaff.
This bright and refreshing spin on the Martini trades in olives for raspberries. It strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tart. Grab your muddler and a little mint to make it yourself.
Making this sous vide G&T by A.J. Schaller at Sterling, Va.’s Culinary Research & Education Academy (CREA), Cuisine Solutions’ research arm, starts with a sous vide tonic syrup. Keeping infusions under 185°F is crucial, says Schaller. “This is the temperature at which the flavor of the volatile oils will change on the fruit and thicken the product,” she says. Starting with room temperature ingredients will also help with a more rapid transfer of flavors, according to Schaller.
“Sweet, herbaceous and acidic all at once, this is a great pre-dinner cocktail before a nice glass of white wine,” says 312 Chicago head bartender Jenn Knott of her cocktail. She experimented with using a syrup instead of a shrub, but the latter ended up keeping the drink more fresh and tart. White balsamic vinegar, made in Italy from the trebbiano grape, is mixed with white wine vinegar and cooked at a low temperature to retain its clearish color.
For this cocktail at Portland Ore.’s Bacchus Bar, Andrew Call pours local Aviation American gin because its complex, herbaceous flavor plays off the tart lime and grapefruit. “Adding some house-made pineapple simple syrup gives it a welcome hint of a day on the beach,” says Call. “[And] topping it off with dry sparkling wine and Peychaud’s bitters makes all the flavors come together and light up your tongue.”
In 2010, while in Athens judging the Diageo World Class bartender competition, barman Gary “Gaz” Regan tasted the very best Aviation cocktail he had ever encountered—one made by Takumi Watanabe, a bartender at The Sailing Bar in Sakurai, Japan. “Since there was no crème de violette available to Watanabe at the time, he used Marie Brizard Parfait Amour, a liqueur that’s similar in color to the original ingredient but boasts orange and vanilla notes rather than the more floral notes found in crème de violette,” says Regan.
This three-ingredient Italian cocktail is as classic as a drink can get.
The Long Island Iced Tea is what happens when four different spirits collide to create one powerful drink. With a mysterious origin story, this potent drink will bring on the good times (and hangovers) for years to come.