Beretta, San Francisco, 2008

Here’s another fun one that’s not in the book, from Beretta in San Francisco. As always, it’s worth locating the best ingredients – no substitutes. The clincher in this drink is real Grade B maple syrup. Definitely not artificial maple-flavored syrup-style food product, Grade B doesn’t mean it’s lesser quality than Grade A, it’s just darker, richer, more maple-y. And don’t be afraid of the raw egg white in this one – just make sure no chickenshit gets in your drink and you’ll be fine. You’ll “dry shake” the ingredients together before adding ice – this helps emulsify the ingredients. Adding ice and shaking hard gets an amazing, frothy, silky texture going.

“Rattlesnake” sounds like it will have a scary bite, but trust me: it’s painless.

THE KIT

Hardware: Shaker, Jigger, Fine-mesh strainer
Ice: Ice cubes
Glassware: Cocktail glass or coupe
Spirits: Rye whiskey (recommended: Rittenhouse)
Mixers & Liqueurs: Grade B maple syrup, Egg white
Juices, Accents, & Garnishes: Lemon juice, Peychaud’s bitters, Lemon twist

HOW TO

Chill a cocktail glass or coupe in the freezer at least ten minutes. Separate one egg, discarding the yolk. Lightly mix the egg white with a fork – this’ll help you measure it out.

In an empty shaker, add:
2 oz rye whiskey
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Grade B maple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1/2 oz egg whites

Make sure you have a good, tight seal (egg whites can foam up and expand when shaken). Shake without ice for 20 seconds to blend. Add a few ice cubes and shake again, hard, for at least 30 seconds. Double-strain into the chilled glass using a fine-mesh strainer.

Pinch a lemon twist over the drink to express oils onto its surface, then rub the twist around the glass rim to coat. Garnish with the twist laid across the surface of the drink.

Milk & Honey, New York City (2007)

Here’s a fine example of the current “craft” movement in cocktails – combining culinary techniques with bold flavors to create something new and amazing. This one’s by Sam Ross of Milk & Honey and Little Branch, two of New York’s craft bars getting a lot of attention these past couple years. A friend who tried this drink recently said she had an immediate flashback to watching her grandfather work on his car in his garage. Something about the smokiness of the Islay whiskey floating on top triggered that memory, and I like that idea. Not-so-basic aspects of this one: double-straining and floating a spirit on the drink’s surface. Just lower a barspoon, convex side up, to the surface of the drink and gently pour the Islay Scotch over the back of the spoon. It’ll settle on top without sinking in too much.

THE KIT

Hardware: Shaker, Jigger, Muddler, Barspoon, Fine mesh strainer, Cocktail pick
Ice: Ice cubes, Ice chunk
Glassware: Double Old Fashioned glass
Spirits: Scotch whiskies (blended {recommended: The Famous Grouse} & Islay {recommended: Ardbeg or Bowmore})
Mixers & Liqueurs: Honey syrup
Juices, Accents, & Garnishes: Fresh ginger, Fresh lemon juice, Candied ginger

HOW TO

Chill a double Old Fashioned glass in the freezer at least ten minutes.
In a shaker, add:
3 slices fresh ginger (peeled)
Muddle well to pulverize ginger and extract its juice. Add ice cubes to about a third-full, then add:
2 oz blended Scotch whisky
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz honey syrup
Shake well to blend and chill, then double-strain into the chilled glass through a fine mesh strainer over a large ice chunk or two to three ice cubes. Gently pouring over the back of a barspoon at the surface of the drink, add:
1/4 oz Islay Scotch whisky
Garnish with a slice of candied ginger skewered on a cocktail pick.

HONEY SYRUP

Honey Syrup keeps honey from freezing and seizing when mixed in cocktails. Just mix three parts honey with one part water over low heat and stir to combine. Keep cool.

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