You’ve seen the term everywhere: “craft cocktails.” They’re delicious and you drink and enjoy them, but do you really know what a craft cocktail is? We asked some of the chefs what they think (and then got some recipes from Dan’s Best of the Best bartenders for good measure).
Gray Gardell-Gross of 668 the Gig Shack in Montauk says it’s all about showmanship. “I don’t think everyone thinks playing with Legos is a craft,” he says, “but wait until you see me do it!” That’s food for thought. Lynn Calvo of Lynn’s Hula Hut, also in Montauk, says a craft cocktail is “a perfectly balanced cocktail with a unique twist, [featuring] unexpected flavors that work beautifully together.”
Now that you’ve got an idea of what a craft cocktail is, why not try making some yourself?
Rich on the Rocks
Created by Joshua Benedict, bartender at Starr Boggs in Westhampton Beach
3 oz. Veuve Clicquot Rich Champagne
1 oz. Ceylon Mango Loose-leaf Tea
Half a pink grapefruit
Half a ripe mango, sliced & macerated
Into a loose leaf teapot, pour Champagne over tea infuser filled with Ceylon mango tea. Let steep 2 minutes.
In a rocks glass, add 1 scoop macerated mango.
Fill glass with ice, pour tea infused Champagne over.
Squeeze in half a grapefruit. Garnish with grapefruit twist.
Sit by pool. Enjoy.
Created by Joseph Coleman of Grace and Grit in Southold
1 1/2 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. raspberry syrup
2 dashes of orange bitters
3 dashes of ginger peach bitters*
To make the raspberry syrup, mix 2/3 cup of water, 2/3 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.
Muddle the raspberries until they are a purée.
Add the sugar and water to a pot and cook for a few minutes until all the sugar is dissolved.
Strain the solids out and it’ll keep for a week or so in the fridge.
Shake all the ingredients, strain into a coupe glass, the drink is served up (no ice), garnish with an edible flower or raspberry.
*The ginger peach bitters can be hard to find. The orange, however, you can find in a lot of supermarkets. You can also go with grapefruit and orange as well for nice “bitter” pops of flavor.
The house cocktail at Maison Vivienne in Southampton. It’s almost too pretty to drink—almost…
1 oz. lavender simple syrup
1 oz. lemon juice
2 oz. Grey Goose vodka
Rock sugar the rim using agave syrup
Garnish with lavender and a lemon twist