Until recently, fassionola syrup, which was used in many old Tiki drinks including the Hurricane, was lost to the past. The Jonathan English Company bottled it in the 1950s, and modern bartenders have either created house-made versions or substituted passion fruit syrup. Recently, Cocktail & Sons’ Max Messier bottled a seasonal version of it with local New Orleans strawberries, as well as pineapples, mango, passion fruit and steeped hibiscus flower syrup. The little-known Cobra’s Fang was created at Don the Beachcomber and also uses falernum, which has seen its own resurgence in recent years.
“The fire caramelizes the sugar, giving the drink depth and added richness,” says Lauren Schell of Seaworthy in New Orleans. “It's a crucial element of balance, in addition to being eye-catching and purposefully interactive.” The Chartreuse-meets-sugar fire inside a hollowed-out lime might be simple to create but is a visual stunner while simultaneously helping to balance out the drink’s citrus notes.
If you’d like to make your drink a festive shade of red for the holidays, try this vodka cocktail with blood orange. "Blood oranges have a slightly different flavor than the oranges we are most accustomed to," says Kevin Denton, the national mixologist for Pernod Ricard. "The main thing to remember is that orange juice, particularly anything not freshly squeezed, is much more mellow in cocktails that we think it’s going to be."
For football season, we had a bartender from each NFL team's hometown provide the perfect cocktail to represent their team. “A classic Margarita, much like the 16–0 1972 Miami Dolphins, can be quite simply perfect,” says Seth Weinberg, the lead bartender at StripSteak by Michael Mina at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, who created this drink as an homage to the undefeated Miami Dolphins team. “The team still gets together every season for a Champagne toast to their still-standing record.” This drink is a variation on a Margarita, with a Miami twist. “Fresh Florida juices and spicy agave nectar are the perfect complement to the bold flavors of aged tequila,” he says. “Much like the Dolphins newly augmented stadium, this cocktail is cool, modern and refreshing, the perfect drink to sip while cheering the Miami Dolphins onto victory.”
For football season, we had a bartender from each NFL team's hometown provide the perfect cocktail to represent their team.“My father and I have had New York Giants season tickets for at least 20 years, and we go to every home game,” says bartender Greg Lipari of New York City’s Bua. “We get there at 8 in the morning and make breakfast—bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches on English muffins, sometimes pancakes—and tailgate for hours before the game starts at 1 p.m. It’s a full-day affair, so you need a drink that it isn’t overpowering and won’t knock you over the head. If you start drinking with breakfast, you want something light and refreshing.“I just got back from the Giants–L.A. Rams game in London, so I was inspired to do a gin cocktail,” he says of this variation on a Tom Collins. “It’s named for Tom Coughlin, who was the Giants’ head coach for the 10 years, when they won two Super Bowls. He’s the most successful coach they’ve ever had. All Giants fans love Coughlin. The blueberries are for Big Blue, of course, and the prosecco is to anticipate imminent victory.”
For football season, we had a bartender from each NFL team's hometown provide the perfect cocktail to represent their team.For the Seattle Seahawks, says bartender Kelly Ronan of Seattle’s Lark, “this is a perfect cocktail for morning games—not too boozy, and bright and refreshing with the effervescent ginger beer. We use lots of local products at Lark, even at the bar. OOLA is a fantastic local distillery—it’s right down the street actually—so we use its gin and Rachel’s Ginger Beer, which is a super spicy locally made ginger beer that nearly every Seattleite is obsessed with. The berries and kiwi add a little extra flavor and of course our favorite colors.”
Though one thinks of limeade and lemonade as summer drinks, bartender Carmen Polcyn at Chicago’s Bar Toma gives this tipple that’s good with or without booze a wintery hint of rosemary and warming, smoky punch. You can spike the drink with tequila or mezcal, the latter adding even more smoky fun to the drink.
While the Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in North America, its origins are shrouded in mystery. There are almost as many stories about who invented the margarita as there are margarita recipes. Some like them blended, others with a sweetener, but many argue the best margarita recipe is this classic one. Memorize it and you’ll never fail to impress.