Fish & Game, in Hudson, N.Y., which Esquire named one of the most influential restaurants of the decade, is known for its new-wave farm-to-table cooking, whole utilization techniques and fresh ingredients. The Cotter Swizzle epitomizes the restaurant’s low-waste philosophy through the use of a red wine vinegar made from the restaurant’s spent wines, adding bright acidity and depth to the cocktail. With ingredients that include fresh citrus, ginger and the slightly sweet botanical Old Tom gin, and garnished with aromatic bitters, this swizzle featuring the house-made vinegar is zippy and complex in flavor.
“The Cotter Swizzle was originally a collaboration between me and a bartender who worked at Fish & Game, Kat Dunn,” says Jori Jayne Emde, the founder of Lady Jayne’s Alchemy and fermentation consultant for Fish & Game. “I had made some wild sumac tea, which is tart and tannic, so we played around with other additions to build a lightly sweet, tart and spiced Swizzle. Over time, I built on the drink as I was producing more and more vinegar, so I swapped out the wild sumac tea for my vinegar as it added a similar flavor to the drink.” It’s named for the road Emde lives on, since its ingredients—the wild sumac and the red wine vinegar—come from there.
This recipe originally appeared as part of “How to Make Vinegar from Wine.”
- 1 3/4 ounces Ransom Old Tom gin
- 1 ounce ginger liqueur
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 ounce red wine vinegar*
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- Garnish: sliced ginger
Add the gin, liqueur, lime juice and red wine into a Collins glass with crushed ice and swizzle until the ice starts to melt.
Top with more crushed ice to mound and gently pat down.
Add the Angostura bitters over the top of the ice.
Garnish with thinly sliced ginger on top of the ice.
*Jori Jayne Emde’s red wine vinegar: Place a quart-size jar on a scale and tare to zero. Pour red wine (up to one bottle) into the jar and note the weight. Divide weight by four and add that quantity of any unpasteurized vinegar to the jar. (For example, if you have 550 grams of red wine, add 137.5 grams of raw vinegar.) Cover the jar with cheesecloth and keep at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Stir the mixture once a week. You want the liquid on the bottom to make its way to the top of the jar to be exposed to free oxygen. Allow the mix to ferment until it smells sharp and vinegar-like. Once it does, check the pH with a digital pH meter. The pH should be between 2.5 and 5. (The lower the pH, the stronger the acid.) Once you’ve achieved the desired acidity, fine-strain the mixture into an airtight container and store it at room temperature out of direct sunlight.