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Drink of the Week: Monte Carlo

To change it up a bit this week, let's try an "inverted" post for our Drink of the Week. We'll give you the recipe and a photo. Then, it's your turn. You make the cocktail and tell us what you think in the comments! How about it?

We will say just a few things to get the conversation started. First, the Monte Carlo is a classic cocktail in the truest sense: spirits, sugar, water and bitters. In this case, a little license is given in that water/sugar takes the form of DOM Benedictine which will definitely add some interest to the whiskey. Think of a Manhattan, only instead of sweet vermouth, you have Benedictine. Now, go forth and try one, then let us know what you think in the comments below:

Monte Carlo 2 oz rye whiskey .5 oz Benedictine 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice. Strain into a

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Drink of the Week: Bitter Branch

Here's a nice cocktail to drink while curled up next to the fireplace. It's big and bold, salty and sweet, and a little bitter too. You could say it's everything but sour. It comes by way of Marvel Bar's Pip Hanson and appears in both The American Cocktail book and Northstar Cocktails. During the colder, darker months, it's hard not to get excited about cocktails like this one. It's also pretty easy to make for how complex it tastes, and it uses an ingredient we've never featured on Summit Sips until now.

The unusual ingredient is Nocino (no-CHEE-no), a dark Italian walnut flavored liqueur made from unripe green walnuts. The flavor is sweet, luscious and deeply nutty, but often still high in alcohol. We were first introduced to it a couple years back at the Bradstreet Crafthouse where it plays prominently in their Black Walnut Old

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Drink of the Week: Bensonhurst

Some of you may recognize the name of this cocktail as another Brooklyn neighborhood. That's because it's one of the variations of the Brooklyn cocktail, one of several modern recipes following the tradition of the Red Hook. We have already covered that and the Greenpoint and there are still many more to enjoy. All of them are essentially Manhattan variations using rye as the base, but they each have their own twist, swapping one liqueur for another or exploring something creative with the vermouth.

This one takes the somewhat unusual approach of using dry vermouth instead of sweet. It was created by Chad Solomon, once a bartender at New York's Milk & Honey. The result is a lovely golden gem of a cocktail that remains true to the style.

So, here's the thing with this drink. It's

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Drink of the Week: Algonquin

Named for the Algonquin Hotel on 42nd street in New York, this cocktail gained popularity after Prohibition as the hotel became known for the regular lunch gathering of Alexander Woollcott, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx and others. It’s still served at the hotel today, but you don’t have to go there to try one. Nor do you have to be a member of an exclusive roundtable lunch group. It's a breeze to make and the ingredients are easy to find.

Algonquin 2 oz rye whiskey 1 oz dry vermouth 1 oz pineapple juice

Stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

According to David Wondrich, this drink is even better with a few dashes of orange bitters. He recommends Fee Bros. West Indian but also suggests using a squeeze of orange peel. There’s definitely an improvement with the extra kick of orange, but you also have to pay

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Drink of the Week: Toronto

The Toronto combines two things we love: rye whiskey and Fernet-Branca. Some accounts suggest that this drink was originally made with Canadian whisky which makes sense, especially considering that it’s called the Toronto cocktail. But there’s more to love when you make it with rye. We haven’t written too much about Canadian whisky. It’s a popular spirit, to be sure, represented by a multitude of brands in most liquor shops. We have nothing against the smooth flavor of Canadian whisky, but there’s a reason it doesn’t appear very often in recipes.

Canadian whisky (spelled without the “e”) is a blended product. Blended in this context refers to a spirit made by combining a pure distillate with neutral alcohol. For example, Laird’s Applejack comes in two varieties, a pure, bonded apple brandy and a blended version. The bonded Applejack is made entirely from distilled cider wine, whereas the blended version contains

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Drink of the Week: Eastern Sour

This Drink of the Week week is actually three drinks in one. The Eastern Sour is the first of a small family of sour cocktails invented by none other than Trader Vic, one of the founding fathers of the mid-century Tiki movement. Although it isn't as complex or as difficult as many Tiki drinks, for some people that's not necessarily a bad thing. The more ingredients—or often, the more obscure the ingredients—the less likely most folks will be able to execute the recipe. At least that was my theory as I looked for a tropical style drink to post this week. I thought we needed a change from all of the Manhattan variations I have been posting.

My source of reference is a groovy little iPhone/iPad app called Beachbum Berry's Tiki+. This app was developed with the full endorsement of Jeff "Beachbum" Berry and it's filled with recipes

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Drink of the Week: Greenpoint

As most of us settle into a weekend of turkey dinner leftovers in all of their various forms, it made sense to feature another riff on a popular classic—not that this is actually a leftover—the Greenpoint is a nice cocktail in it's own right. However, since most drinks evolve from some earlier recipe, I guess this is as much a variation of a Manhattan as a turkey sandwich is a variation of roast turkey. It's important to mention that in addition to evolving from the Manhattan, the Greenpoint is actually one of the Brooklyn neighborhood variants spawned by the Red Hook. It won't be the last that I feature, but it might be the best.

Since the basis for the Greenpoint is the Red Hook, and by extension, the Manhattan, it should come as no surprise

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