Achieving balance in a cross between a Sazerac and an Aviation is no easy feat, but New York City bar Porchlight delivers with its bright purple Train’s a Comin’ cocktail. Using absinthe, cognac, blanc vermouth (a slightly sweeter and rounder cousin of dry vermouth), a violet liqueur, fresh lemon juice and a homemade Concord grape syrup, Porchlight’s head bartender Nicholas Bennett has created a hybrid as classic (and as vibrantly-hued) as its source of inspiration.
In case its name hasn’t given it away, the Train’s a Comin’ cocktail was created in honor of the 2015 debut of New York’s historic 7 subway line extension—a fitting tribute by a bar located on one of the westernmost avenues in Manhattan, where no train had ever gone before, though somehow Porchlight always seemed to draw a healthy crowd before the new and improved 7 line came along. This comes as no surprise given the bar’s all-star team at Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, which has built a bona fide hospitality empire across the city with world-renowned and locally-beloved icons like Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Café. Try your hand at making this mashup at home (no MetroCard needed).
- Absinthe, to rinse
- 1 ounce cognac
- 3/4 ounce Dolin blanc vermouth
- 13/100 ounce Creme Yvette
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce concord grape syrup*
- Garnish: lemon twist
Rinse the inside of a chilled rocks glass with absinthe and set aside.
Add the cognac, blanc vermouth, Creme Yvette, lemon juice and Concord grape syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass filled with ice.
Garnish with a lemon twist.