By Samantha Garbarini
With the premiere of the final season of Mad Men on April 5, classic cocktails shot back onto our radar. And although the classics are classics for a reason, there’s nothing wrong with adding a little twist (and I’m not just talking about an orange rind). From Don Draper’s Old Fashioned to Betty Francis’ Gimlet, we’ve got seven new takes on classic cocktails right here in Westchester. Start slideshow »
The classic: Vodka or gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and maybe a splash of soda water make this classic.
The twist: Cucumber and mint join the regular cast of characters for a version that’s even more refreshing and spring-like.
Polpettina, Larchmont (not available at the Eastchester location)
The classic: Whiskey (often bourbon), sugar cubes or simple syrup, a dash of bitters, and a splash of water, garnished with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry.
The twist: Aged Brugal 1888 rum—marketed as “rum of whiskey lovers” due to its pronounced oakiness from being aged in oak casks previously used for bourbon—takes the place of the traditional whiskey, lending extra sweetness.
The classic: Vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer served, of course, in the classic copper mug.
The twist: Ramazzotti—a Milanese amaro—is added to the mix for a hit of bitterness that results in a surprisingly refreshing cocktail known as the Milano Mule.
The classic: Possibly the most famous cocktail on this list, the Manhattan is simply whiskey, vermouth, and bitters, served straight up or on the rocks with a maraschino cherry.
The twist: Muddled whole cloves are added to the classic base for extra warmth and spice.
The classic: This drink is based on the Tom Collins, which is gin (though vodka is often substituted), lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. Served in the traditional “Collins” glass.
The twist: Organic Square One Bergamot vodka is combined with Harper’s own citrus shrub—lemon-, lime-, and orange-infused vinegar—and tonic water. Extra dimension is added with herbaceous Génépi from the French Alps and orange cream citrate for a hint of tartness.
The classic: Though the whiskey sour is the most famous, a sour can be made with any type of liquor, combined with lemon and a touch of sugar.
The twist: Urbanite Cabernet Sauvignon is floated on top of the traditional whiskey-based cocktail, adding a secondary flavor and a beautiful appearance.
The classic: Liquor of one’s choosing, sugar, water, and sometimes—if it’s Derby Day—mint.
The twist: Fig & Olive’s take starts like a Mint Julep with bourbon, simple syrup, and mint, then takes a twist with St. Germain (elderflower liqueur), Port, and the company’s namesake: muddled black mission figs. The drink is finished with a grating of walnut.
Interested in more drinks? Try these cocktail recipes for ideas, inspiration, and instructions