It’s Bastille Day: And Here is a Truly Extravagant Way to Celebrate




With the modern history of our countries so inexorably intertwined, you’d think France and America would play a little nicer in the geopolitical sandbox. The latter’s Independence Day—which celebrates something the French helped us win—has just come and gone, and the former’s Bastille Day (July 14), which was influenced by the latter, is now upon us. Let’s all get along, no?

Alas, the Stateside tradition of celebrating the turning point of the French Revolution is mostly confined to our major urban areas. And now this insidious pandemic has even made that nigh impossible. But American Francophiles with a taste for more than just a classic salade Lyonnais or simple bavette steak can now get their Gallic on Michelin style, via an opulent new partnership between NYC’s Gastronome Catering—headed by Pop Burger founder Jonathan Weizmann—Studio3, and beloved French elderflower liqueur St-Germain.



Indeed, the aforementioned three have combined their epicurean and stylistic acumen to create a special Bastille Day gourmet tasting kit, aptly titled Menu du Quatorze Juillet. The exquisite four-course dinner, by venerable Gastronome Chef Alex Ureña, starts with uni & caviar, moves elegantly on to peekytoe crab with avocado, gets serious with roasted chicken avec oyster mushrooms and spinach/parmesan puree, then finishes beautifully and sweetly with an irresistible pamplemousse custard. And all paired with delectable St-Germain Spritz cocktails.

“It was not me alone,” Weizmann explains of its inception, “but it was reaching out and seeking to develop an idea, and then using the potential of the talent, from Studio3 to Nike Communications to St-Germain and Chef Ureña. This is something deeper than simply a menu; it is about people coming together and creating something unique in this difficult time.”
The special packaging, by Studio3, is also an essential element of its epicurean/aesthetic appeal.
“It is so important to choose and work with people who are experts at their craft,” Weizmann insists. And Studio3 are amazing at what they do. This luxury meal kit was packaged with TLC…every detail was handled with care and branded to perfection. All the senses are awakened, with the goal of transporting the recipient to another place. In this case, France!”

And certainly, 231 years of ironic distance means that we can, indeed, celebrate Bastille Day luxuriously.

To purchase a Menu du Quatorze Juillet Bastille Day gourmet tasting kit, visit At just $250 for two people, it will be delivered directly to your door. And, because why not, it will be available through August 14.


Harold’s SoHo Perfects the NYC Restaurant Re-Opening




From sea to other shining sea, a tragic impatience in the face of real casualties saw restaurants and bars rush to re-open, only to have coronavirus cases escalate—forcing a defeated retreat.

But, after being the original American epicenter of the pandemic, New York City rose up to be a paragon of responsibility, and the resulting significant slow down of new cases was its reward. Gotham, of course, is one of the most social places in the universe, where small apartments drive people steadily into bars and restaurants—and so no one needed a return to that “normal” more than did it.

The west side of SoHo had in the last several years had become more of an epicurean destination than it had ever been, really. And its more notable dining spots have been valiantly springing back to life. Houseman Chef/Owner Ned Baldwin—formerly of Prune—had taken to (legally) setting up tables between parking spaces, creating a whole new sort of…installation art. And trendy Westville had come alive on the sidewalk, where we downed a Sunday afternoon bottle of prosecco just before a spectacular thundershower. It did indeed, feel a bit normal.



But Harold’s restaurant at the Arlo SoHo hotel, which had become as popular as the hotel’s very, very popular rooftop bar A.R.T. SoHo, was blessed with a “hidden” garden area, complete with two fully functional rustic cabins, where one can feel shut away from all the towering edifices just beyond. So we booked a table on its first night back in biz (it had been doing takeout for guests and locals since the lockdown), and the sheer exhilaration of having a waiter ask “Can I take your order?” could not be over-exaggerated. But it took some real work to get there.

“Forecasting of all our costs, redesigns of our floor plan, and a very different approach to our product,” Arlo Director of Food & Beverage Gary Wallach explained. “We have only been able to bring back a minimal number of staff members. With that comes restrictions on what we can accomplish, especially when our main goal is the safety of guests.”

Still, we had strolled confidently into the aforementioned garden to a well-chosen funk / R&B soundtrack, including Tinashe’s groovalicious cover of “Genius of Love.” A good start indeed.



The menu was limited, a reasonable decision; but food choices at Harold’s were never too difficult. They make one of the city’s best cheeseburgers (with an “impossible” option as well), and their prosciutto & fig pizza, as well as their healthy cobb, with crispy farro and pumpkin seeds, were both always flawless. But we inquired about the hot chicken sandwich, and unhesitatingly received a knowing nod from our server.

Tables were thoughtfully spaced more than six feet apart, and a good-looking crowd began to filter in, giving it the energy we so exigently needed to be around again. The first notes of Sade’s “Never as Good as the First Time” came through the soundsystem, and we were utterly contented.

Back to that hot chicken sandwich…confession: we ate it with a fork and knife, just to more fully replicate a typical restaurant experience. But it was also a sublime mix of textures and flavors, just hot/spicy enough to jolt us into a higher consciousness…though not too hot for anyone with a sensitive constitution. And we decided that the fries, skinny, soft and crunchy, with three heavenly tasting dipping sauces, might be the best we’ve ever, ever had. Even the cole slaw was chopped and tanged to perfection. And—this is a really big thing for us—they mixed an exemplary dirty martini, with high quality olives.

“It’s been nice to see guests within our space,” Wallach enthused. “A full restaurant equates to a feeling of fulfillment. We do this to bring people together. It’s nice to do that again.”

Yes…it definitely is.

The Arlo SoHo is asking guests to book through OpenTable for both Harold’s and the A.R.T. SoHo.

Aspen Has Re-Opened for Summer: A Report From the W Aspen & Sky Residences



Though the near future of travel remains a maddening riddle, it’s safe to say we’ve got a good six months to begin to tell exactly how the ski season will be shaping in a world still haunted by the coronavirus crisis. Colorado was not hit terribly hard (though nearly 1500 deaths have been reported), so expect an urgency for the major resort towns to get back some measure of normalcy—Aspen especially, which officially resumed business on May 29,

Last August, of course, we reported on the notable opening of the new W Aspen & Sky Residences, which quickly became one of the region’s hottest destinations, with its Wet Deck, Living Room, and 39° nightlife hotspots. As its first summer season approaches, the hotel has undertaken its post-pandemic re-opening, with restaurants and bars, of course, operating at 50% capacity.

To better understand how this was accomplished, we caught up with General Manager Greg Durrer for the lowdown.



What are the safety measures you’ve put into place for re-opening?

W Aspen & the Sky Residences at W Aspen have closely coordinated with the Pitkin County Board of Health, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and Marriott International to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 cleanliness and safety plan for all of our overnight guests, residence owners, local customers and employees. We have extensively modified and elevated our cleaning processes and procedures prior to our guests’ arrival, during their visit and post departure. Upon arrival, we have installed protective plexiglass barriers at high contact spaces, including our registration desks. In accordance with Pitkin County Board of Health Guidelines, all guests wear masks when traveling through hotel common areas.

And employee / guest interaction?

Employees wear masks and, in some cases, gloves, as positions require. Currently, our pools, hot tubs and fitness center remain closed in accordance with published guidelines*. Overall, there is a heightened focus on employee training, cleaning, and following all social distancing protocols and providing our guests with peace of mind so they can truly enjoy their visit to our beautiful mountain destination.

What is different about the sort of bookings you’re getting for this summer?

As business returns, we have noticed that our drive leisure markets are returning first. We are also seeing a wide diversity in travelers from individuals and couples to extended families reconnecting as quarantines are lifted around the country and globe.



How do you feel the social experience at the hotel will play out in the coming months? Including bars and restaurants.

Guests are looking to escape and enjoy all that Aspen has to offer in the way of outdoor activities, fresh mountain air, a vibrant culinary scene and world class galleries and shopping. There is a high desire from travelers to see that restaurants are following all published safety guidelines and protocols and outdoor dining is in high demand. We have made significant adjustments to our dining spaces to ensure that we are able to accommodate every guest in a clean, comfortable and safe environment. W Aspen is very fortunate to have an 8,000 sq. ft. roof top WET Deck that offers stunning 360-degree views of the Aspen skyline and the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Our WET Deck is unparalleled in Aspen and offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Our acclaimed Executive Chef, Jackie Siao, prepares globally inspired and locally sourced cuisine. This fare, combined with our views, creates an unmatched mountain lux experience.

What do you think the Aspen experience will be like this summer? What will be different?

The Aspen experience this summer will be focused on the outdoor adventure and access to the magnificent spaces that surround Aspen. Breathtaking views, the abundance of outdoor activities and an opportunity to reconnect and recharge with loved ones, extended family and friends. Hiking Maroon Bells, Hunter Creek Trail, Sunnyside Trail or Ute Trail offer our guests the chance to clear their minds, while taking in natural landscape that has made Aspen one of the most desirable summer destinations in the world. People travel from all over the globe to take on some of the most challenging mountain bike terrain and these trails are all just steps away from the resort that sits in town directly at the base of Aspen Mountain. W Aspen & the Sky Residence at W Aspen is perfectly positioned to host guests looking to enjoy the clean, fresh mountain air and wide-open spaces that the Rocky Mountains offer to all of our guests this upcoming summer.


(*Update: Beginning on June 8th, the Pitkin County Board of Health has allowed pools to reopen with limited capacity and social distancing guidelines. We are glad to be able to make one of our most distinguishing features available again to our resort guests. Enjoying a crafted cocktail or glass of rosé while soaking in the sunshine on our rooftop WET Deck, poolside with 360-degree views & fresh mountain air, this is one of the defining moments of an Aspen Alpine experience.)


Sunshine Calling: Summer Cocktail Recipes from Absolut Elyx



Let’s face it, we’ve tried so many new drink recipes in the last three months, we’re likely verging on some or other sort of unofficial mixology certification. And in most cases, despite partial re-opening efforts in a number of states, our nightlife is still mostly going to be taking place in our living rooms for the time being.

But our friends at Absolut Elyx have emerged from their prolific product development lab with several very good reasons for us to take the party to the beach—though they and we urge all to do so with the utmost social-distancing caution. Their new Sunshine Calling Edition collection (created in conjunction with Sydney’s Sunnylife) is headed up by a pair of super-chic, pool-safe copper cocktail cups—which are an especially elegant alternative to sipping Moscow Mules out of the sort of cheap plastic throwaways that usually accompany us to sand and sea. Hosana!



Rounding out the collection are banana leaf print towels and visors, a cocktail pool floatie, and, we kid you not, cocktail ice-pop moulds which produce perfect little Martini-pops…something we’d previously never even dared to imagine.

“We always endeavor to challenge the normal conventions associated with luxury vodka,” says Miranda Dickson, Global Brand Director of Absolut Elyx, “to create new things that are uniquely playful, luxurious, and eclectic. In Sunnylife, we have found a spirited partner whose ethos perfectly complements ours.”

Of course, with summer less than two weeks away, it’s also time to forego the old fashioneds and whiskey sours for cocktails more brightly suited to the season—and Absolut Elyx drinks alchemist Gareth Evans was kind enough to share these six Sunnylife Signature recipes with us.

Mango #5

1 oz Absolut Elyx
1 oz Mango Juice
1 oz Grapefruit Juice 
3 oz Lemon Tonic 
Mango Slices 
Build all ingredients over cubed ice in a Copper Beach Cup and stir to combine. Garnish with mango slices. 

Hey Maracuya 

3 oz Absolut Elyx
2 oz Passionfruit Nectar 
3 oz Ginger Beer Squeeze lime 
Lime Wheels 
Build all ingredients over cubed ice in a Copper Beach Cup and stir to combine. Garnish with lime wheels. 

Stone Cold

2 oz Absolut Elyx
2 oz Apricot Liqueur 
1 oz Lemon Juice
6 oz Chilled Black Tea 
Edible Flowers 
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake with cubed ice. Strain over fresh ice in a Copper Beach Cup, then garnish with edible flowers. 

Espresso Martini Ice Pops 

2.5 oz Absolut Elyx
5 oz Cold Brew Coffee 
2 oz Maple Syrup 
Method for 4 Icy Martinis Moulds:
Add all ingredients to a container, divide mix between Icy Martini Moulds, add cap and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen through. To eat, remove the cap, run the outside of the mould under a little warm water, and press gently from the bottom



Pineapple Grapefruit Ice Pops 

2.5 oz Absolut Elyx 
2.5oz Grapefruit Juice 
2.5 oz Pineapple Juice 
2.5 oz Coconut Water 
1⁄4 cup White Sugar 
Method for 4 Icy Martinis Moulds: 
Add all ingredients to a container and dissolve sugar. Divide mix between Icy Martini Moulds, add cap and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen through. To eat, remove the cap, run the outside of the mould under a little warm water, and press gently from the bottom. 

Watermelon Basil Ice Pops 

2.5 oz Absolut Elyx
5 oz Watermelon Juice 
1⁄4 cup White Sugar 
10 each Basil Leaves 
Method for 4 Icy Martinis Moulds: 
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and sugar is dissolved, then leave to settle for 10 minutes. Divide mix between Icy Martini Moulds, add cap and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen through. To eat, remove the cap, run the outside of the mould under a little warm water, and press gently from the bottom. 

Mango Chili Ice Pops 

2.5 oz Absolut Elyx 
2.5 oz Lime Juice
5 oz Ginger Beer 
1⁄2 cup Diced Mango 
1 pinch Chilli Flakes 
Method for 4 Icy Martinis Moulds: 
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and sugar is dissolved, then leave to settle for 10 minutes. Divide mix between Icy Martini Moulds, add cap and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen through. To eat, remove the cap, run the outside of the mould under a little warm water, and press gently from the bottom. 

Hibiscus Raspberry Ice Pops 

2.5 oz Absolut Elyx
2.5 oz Lime Juice
2.5 oz Chilled Hibiscus Tea 
2.5 oz Raspberries
1⁄4 cup White Sugar 
Method for 4 Icy Martinis Moulds: 
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and sugar is dissolved, then strain to remove pulp and seeds. Divide mix between Icy Martini Moulds, add cap and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen through. To eat, remove the cap, run the outside of the mould under a little warm water, and press gently from the bottom. 

Lychee Pear Ice Pops 

2.5 oz Absolut Elyx 
5 oz Lychee Juice 
5 oz Pear Juice 
Method for 4 Icy Martinis Moulds: 
Add all ingredients to a container and divide mix between Icy Martini Moulds, add cap then freeze for 2 hours or until frozen through. To eat, remove the cap, run the outside of the mould under a little warm water, and press gently from the bottom. 

Yes, There Will be Summer: Dante Pops Up in the Hamptons w/ the ‘World’s Best Cocktails’




There is something to be said about not giving up on a rite of passage, even in the face of a global pandemic. And while Memorial Day weekend has been dubbed the unofficial “start of summer” for as long as we have been looking forward to the arrival of summer (we think since three years old), 2020 will go down in the history books as a much more subdued, but not defeated, welcome to the plethora of road trips, dining al fresco, sun-worshipping, and plein-air cultural happenings that make up the season in our grown up lives.

Keeping true to NYC cognoscenti tradition, the beach hamlets of the Hamptons kicked off the holiday weekend with a green light for beachgoers, albeit with modifications to the normal frenzy that would typically accompany the commencement. Salty air, verdant gardens and lingering sunsets are indeed offering Gotham dwellers a respite from the urban lockdown of the last two months. And as a show of resilience, seasonal restaurants and city outposts are open for your takeout pleasure.



And have no fear if your liquor cabinet is not happy-hour ready. West Village hotspot Dante, in 2019 voted the World’s Best Bar (that’s right, best in the whole world), is setting up a Hampton’s pop-up in classic style, and serving up traditional and groovy riffs on negronis, martinis, and the regular contender for drink of summer, Aperol spritz, out of a vintage Cooper Classics car in East Hampton.

We’re looking forward to getting out of our tippling comfort zone (and impressing our socially distant guests) with a lavender negroni, or a white port enhanced Smoke on the Water, packaged in 8oz and 750ml bottles for take out convenience. Order by noon Friday through Sunday and your evening libations will be ready to go by 5pm.

And regarding all those predictions that summer 2020 would be a wash…wrong.

The Dante Pop-up will be set up in the parking lot of the Highway Restaurant & Bar, 290 Montauk Highway, East Hampton, through July.


To Go Drinks

The Negroni Sessions

4x 8oz bottles (one each)
– Dante’s Classic Negroni
– Chocolate Negroni
– Lavender Negroni
– Mescalito


Dante’s Martini Hour

4x 8oz bottles (one each)
– Dante’s Martini
– Olivette
– Upside down ramp Gibson
– Smoke on the water

Complete Dante Sundowner Pack

– Full Negroni Sessions set
– Full Martini Hour set

Large Format Cocktails

750ml bottles (Serves 10)
– Classic Negroni
– Dante’s Martini


Cocktail Kits (Serves 15)

– Dante’s Margarita Kit $95
– Aperol Spritz Kit $75
– St Germaine Elderflower spritz kit $75



Ginning Up the Quarantine: Cultivated Cocktail Recipes From SF’s Coit Spirits




Gerry Rowland isn’t your typical Napa winemaker. Yes, he studied Methode Champagnois for ten years, the standard how-to for putting the bubbles into the bottle. Yes, he trained hands-on in wineries in Napa after studying viticulture in his homeland of Australia. And yes, his bottles at Rowland Cellars are known for capturing the rich terroir and heritage of Northern California in each sip. But this Aussie maverick, with winemaking in his blood, started his own label in 1991 by combining two skills that come second nature: good taste and innovation.

Wine will indeed always be Rowland’s first love; yet he reveals, “I’ve always had a passion for gin. But there are not a lot of resources to learn about it [in the US].”

That led to a stint in London studying under top ginsmiths, where he learned the craft.

Ultimately, and with inspiration from 19th Century San Francisco heroine Lillie Coit, he created Coit Spirits. Firebelle Lillie was known as the patron of the firefighters; bucking convention, she dressed in men’s clothing to sneak into bars, drink, and play cards.

Rowland enthuses, “Lillie became our banner and our brand.”

Gin, of course, requires the incorporation of botanicals, traditionally juniper. Rowland was drawn to the unusual flavor profiles only found in tea blends such as Rooibos red tea, Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong. And thus were born three very distinctive gins.

While Coit’s Earl Grey is the most well known, the Caravan Tea gin is a lesser known gem. With cardamom and orange blossom for citrus, according to Rowland, “They dry the leaves on burning pine needles and it gets smokey, much like using peat in whiskey. It’s great for negronis.”

The Cape Tea gin, made with Rooibos, is unique in that, “there is a bit of fermentation in the leaf before it’s blended, similar to wine. It makes for a subtle yet delicate balance. Especially with notes of bergamot and citrus.”




What other drinks has he been experimenting with during quarantine? “I’ve been balancing between cocktails good for summer, and ones good for cooler nights, since we’re still in spring. Gin sours, ginnaritas…with the Caravan, the slightly smokey gin, we do a Malbec cocktail. Since the it has hints of cardamom and Indonesian long pepper, there’s a little orange blossom note, and the pepper rounds out the smokey flavors.”

Of course, nothing beats the classics; and gin plays spectacularly well at home. But Rowland’s most surprising discovery was actually a buzzy local ingredient. “Honey is really strong, and it can dominate in a Bee’s Knees. We call ours the Smokey Bee.”

For the record, Coit Spirits also makes a classic high rye bourbon using four grains, including corn, wheat and barley. According to Rowland, “The wheat, rye and corn are very spicy, and the barley rounds out those flavors.”

So what’s next for Coit?

“To make a truly indigenous gin from North American botanicals. We use a bit of seaweed and some fun flowers for citrus notes; but no citrus is native to America.”

But for now, for those sheltering-in happy hours, Rowland was kind enough to share some of his fave gin cocktail recipes with BlackBook.





San Francisco Days 

2 Parts Coit Earl Grey Tea Gin
1 Part Lemon Honey (Equal parts fish lemon and honey)
1 Part Condensed Hibiscus Tea (2 Tea Bags per 4oz of water ratio)
Topped of with Sparkling wine
Garnished with Edible flower (prefer orange or yellow in color) and rosemary sprig


The Telegraph Game

1.5 Part Coit Earl Grey Tea Gin
Twisted Alchemy Fresh Pressed Organic Grapefruit Juice
2 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Sugar Cube
Squeeze of Lime from 1 Sliced Wedge
Garnish with Fresh Basil Leaf on top


Alcatraz Views 

2 Parts Coit Earl Grey Tea Gin
.25 Part Mandarine Napoléon Orange Liqueur
1 Part Fresh Lemonade
1 Part Regatta Ginger Beer
Garnish with Fresh Mint and Tajin Rim


Smoky Negroni

1 oz Coit Caravan Gin
0.75 oz Campari
0.5 oz Carpano Antica
0.5 oz Amaro (Lo-Fi Amaro preferred)
Serve over a large ice cube
Garnish with Orange peel and smoldering rosemary sprig






World Whisky Day: An Irish Intro to the Good Scottish Stuff




Obviously, Scottish heritage is steeped in tall tales of its most famous dram: Scotch Whisky. Appropriately, the moniker comes with a laundry list of prerequisites to maintain its integrity, like a minimum of three years in oak barrels, and being processed and aged at the same distillery in Scotland.

One of those, Aberlour Distillery, is located in the heart of the Speyside region (and titled for the town in which it’s located), having been built in 1879 by grain merchant turned philanthropist James Fleming. Historically home to an ancient Druid community, the name comes from the Gaelic “mouth of the chattering burn,” and refers to the Druid belief that the trees and burn, or rivers, all talked to each other.

Gemma Cole, American Brand Ambassador for Aberlour, was born in Ireland…which could make proving loyalty a challenge. But is the choice between Irish and Scottish a difficult one? “I’m an Irish person,” she admits, “so I lean a little towards Irish whiskey, I would say. But now I mostly drink Aberlour.”




Still, she emphasizes the need to, “spread my wings and check out the whole range of whisk(e)y that’s available. “There’s lovely Canadian whiskey, there’s really great Japanese whiskey. There’s so much for people to choose from at the moment.”

But since Scotch is meant to be taken neat, which does she think is best for mixing? “I think American whiskey is great for cocktails. I’ve been drinking a lot of Jefferson’s Bourbon, that’s coming from Kentucky…and it’s got a really lovely, rounded flavor to it.”

Still, for World Whisky Day (Saturday, May 16), Gemma concocted two sensational cocktails in the spirit of experimentation. The Aberlour 12-year-aged Scotch whisky may seem like a sip and savor dram, but it is actually great when paired.



“It’s a whisky sour, so you can definitely go with Aberlour 16,” she explains. “That would make it more of a full bodied cocktail. There’s an optional egg white part of it, but you can simply take that out, put all your ingredients into your shaker, give it a good shake, strain it into your glass, and easy peasy.”

But don’t forget, she says, “If you’re going to do that egg white, which I highly recommend, just make sure you do that dry shake first.”

While Aberlour 12, 16 and 18 year expressions, double casked in bourbon and sherry, are what they’re known for, the cask strength A’bunadh, which is matured exclusively in first fill Oloroso sherry casks, and Aberlour’s two newest non age statements, Casg Annamh and A’bunadh Alba are highly recommended.

If you prefer something Irish? Powers Classic Gold, Three Swallows, or new John’s Lane, named after the historic distillery’s location and aged 12 years, are the way to go.

But how does she feel about celebrating World Whisky Day on the couch this year? “I’m excited. I’m definitely going to be having a little toast here in California. I hope that you’ll be raising a glass with us as well.”



Aberlour Sour

2oz Aberlour 12yr Scotch Whisky
1oz Lemon
0.75oz simple syrup
1 egg white from 1 egg (Optional)
If using egg white – to get a beautiful froth, dry shake all ingredients (no ice) for approx. 10 seconds.
Add ice in and shake vigorously for another 30 seconds until cold.
Strain into a coup glass or over ice in a rocks glass.

Powers Honeyball High

1.5oz POWERS Gold Label
.75oz Honey Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
1oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Combine all ingredients in a Tall style Collins glass and stir until honey is dissolved with the liquid. Fill your glass with ice right to the top and pour over Soda or Tonic, whichever you prefer. Garnish with a lemon wedge and enjoy!


World Cocktail Day: 14 Sophisticated Tipples to Make At Home


It’s another World Cocktail Day—only this time, you’re resigned to being your own bartender. Which could help you cultivate an important skill going forward…but also means for now, you can’t share your creations with friends.

Luckily, our friends at Absolut Elyx, Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, NYC restaurants/bars Dante, Valerie, Mister French, Pouring Ribbons and The Shanty at New York Distilling Company, Via Sophia in DC, Ocean Restaurant in Kennebunkport, LKSD Kitchen in Newport, CA, and Pelican Hill Coliseum Pool & Grill in Newport Coast, CA have all generously shared their insider tips for the types of sophisticated tipples they’ve helped us grow accustomed to, so even a quarantined World Cocktail Day does not have to be without a dash of the fabulous.

Of course, we highly recommend ordering take out from these same establishments, which may even include to-go cocktails—so that the experience can best resemble our normal life epicurean experiences.

Either way, you know…bottoms up!



From Dante, NYC

1.5 oz. Campari
Fresh orange juice
Glass: Garibaldi
Garnish: Orange wedge resting on rim + plastic stirrer
Method: Add 2 ice cubes to glass
Add Campari and a little of the OJ. Stir well to combine
Add 1 more ice cube and fill remainder of glass with OJ

Swedish Riviera (pictured top)

Created by Gareth Evans for Absolut Elyx

3 parts Absolut Elyx 
3 parts Coconut Water 
1 part lemon 
1 part honey 
3 parts Prosecco 
Glass: Absolut Elyx Copper Balloon Cup or Highball Glass 
Ice: Cubed 
Garnish: Cinnamon stick and orange slices 
Method: Build the ingredients over cubed ice, top with prosecco and stir gently to combine. 

Elyx Martini 

Created by Gareth Evans for Absolut Elyx

5 parts Absolut Elyx 
1 part Lillet Blanc 
Garnish: Lemon Zest 
Method: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over cubed ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish. 

Aperol Flip

Mister French, NYC

1 oz Aperol Apéritif 
1/2 Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Wildflower Honey Reduction
1/2 of Egg White 
1 1/2 oz Sparkling Brut 
Garnish: Expressed Orange Oils, Orange Twist (in middle) 
Glass: Wine Glass

Espresso Martini

From Mr Black Coffee Liqueur

1 oz Mr Black Coffee Liqueur
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Espresso
Method: Shake hard, strain into coupe, garnish with a coffee bean or cacao nib

Fast Car

From the Shanty at New York Distilling Company 

2 oz Ragtime Rye Bottled in Bond
.5 oz Aperol
.5 oz Fernet
Dash Angostura Bitters 
Method: Stir, Serve up with an orange twist


County Clare Cooler 

From Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey, created by Joaquín Simó, Bartender and Partner at Pouring Ribbons, NYC

2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey 
0.75 oz Unfiltered Apple Cider 
0.75 oz Lemon Juice 
0.5 oz Wildflower Honey Syrup (2 parts honey : 1 part water) 
0.25 oz Benedictine 
1 oz Ginger Beer 
Glass: Rocks 
Ice: Cylinder 
Garnish: Fanned Apple Slices 
Method: Add Ginger Beer to bottom of rocks glass. Shake & strain remaining ingredients. 

Dawn to Dusk Sour

From Marc Branden Shelton, Owner of LKSD Kitchen/Mixologist

2 oz Blackened American Whiskey
1 oz Lemon Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
2 Drops of Saline Solution
2 oz Float of Red Zinfandel
Method: Add Blackened, lemon, simple syrup and saline solution to cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilly coupe or cocktail glass and float Red Zinfandel on top.

Fiore Piccolo

Available at Via Sophia in Washington, DC

Created by Raquel Fowler and Corey Holland for 

1 1/2 oz Plum Wine
1 oz Junmai Nigori sake
1 oz Green Tea simple
3/4 oz Strawberry Liqueur
Method: Combine all ingredients and shake; strain and serve into an old fashioned glass (or any small drinking glass at home). Garnished with an edible flower.

Due Diligence 

Created by Gareth Evans for Absolut Elyx

2 parts Absolut Elyx 
1 part Elderflower Liqueur 
1 part Lemon Juice 
1 pinch Dill 
2 parts Tonic 
Glass: Highball Glass 
Garnish: Cucumber slices 
Method: Muddle cucumber, swizzle with crushed ice, add tonic, top with ice and garnish with cucumber slices 



Created by Raquel Fowler and Corey Holland for Via Sophia, Washington, DC

1.5 oz Don Ciccio Ambrosia Aperitivo
.05 oz Averna
1 oz Prosecco
Splash of soda water
Method: Combine all ingredients and stir. Serve in a wine glass with ice and garnish with an orange slice.

Mini Gibson

Created by Marshall Minaya, Beverage Director for Valerie, NYC

1 ¼ oz Le Gin
¼ oz House Dry Vermouth
Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, fill with ice. Stir. Strain. Pour in a 3oz martini glass and garnish with a pickled pear onion.

Blood Orange Cosmo

Ocean Restaurant at Cape Arundel Inn & Resort, Kennebunkport Maine

Blood Orange Cosmo
1 1/2 oz. Tito’s Vodka
1 oz. Blood Orange Pure
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Lime juice.
Add ingredients to shaker, shake, strain into glass, garnish with a toasted orange peel.


Cucumber Cooler

Available at Pelican Hill’s Coliseum Pool & Grill 

1 1/2 oz Hendricks Gin
4 cucumber slices 
1/2 oz Cucumber Syrup
1 Lime Slice
4 oz Tonic
4 torn mint leaves
Method: In a cocktail tin, add four torn mint leaves, lime slice, cucumber slices, ice and gin, shake vigorously, strain cocktail over ice, top with tonic and garnish with cucumber slices


World Cocktail Day: Six Signature Belvedere Sips to Make For a Sheltering-In Celebration




Now eight weeks in, the quarantine continues to bring up ironies, paradoxes, and other strange warping of the regular rituals of our daily existence.

One of those is the celebration of purposefully social holidays while locked away in our homes. Last week was Cinco de Mayo, of course. And now today, May 13, the annual World Cocktail Day is upon us—at least affording us the opportunity to brush up on our mixology skills…while not forgetting that virtually all of our bartender friends are left without work for the time being.

For the occasion, our friends at Belvedere were kind enough to offer up the recipes for a few creative takes on cocktail classics, featuring their super-premium Polish vodka (certified kosher), so that the thrill of new epicurean discovery that has always characterized World Cocktail Day can still be a part of it. For instance, we’d really never considered the possibilities of a “Cucumber Spritz”— but it’s already become one of our new favorites, perfectly paired with everything from a no-contact-delivery artichoke-prosciutto pizza, to a night of Dead To Me, Season 2 binge watching.

(NB: Martha Stewart will be hosting a Belvedere Virtual Quality over Quantity Mixology Session at 7pm EST at Instagram – @belvederevodka, #MadeWithNature.)


Six Signature Belvedere Cocktails to Make for World Cocktail Day

Belvedere Classic Martini (pictured top)

2 oz / 60ml Belvedere Vodka
.25 oz / 7ml French Fortified Wine
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a pink grapefruit twist.

Belvedere Citrus Spritz

30 ml / 1  Oz Belvedere Vodka
30 ml / 1  Oz Vermouth Bianco*
3 Lemon slices
2 Fresh sprigs of mint
Top with equal parts of sparkling water and tonic water*
* FEVER TREE, made from all natural ingredients, is the recommended brand to use
Fill the Belvedere Spritz glass to the top with ice. Combine all ingredients and garnish.

Belvedere Herbal Soda

50 ml / 1½  Oz Belvedere Vodka
150 ml / ½ Oz Soda water
3-4 Dashes Peychaud Bitters
Build in highball glass over cube ice, garnish with a lemon zest.


Belvedere Herbal Spritz

30 ml / 1  Oz Belvedere Vodka
30 ml / 1  Oz Italian bitter
1 Rosemary stem
1 Orange slice
Top with equal parts of sparkling water and tonic water*
* FEVER TREE, made from all natural ingredients, is the recommended brand to use
Fill the Belvedere Spritz glass to the top with ice. Combine all ingredients and garnish.

Belvedere Ginger Spritz

30 ml / 1  Oz Belvedere Vodka
30 ml / 1  Oz Sweet vermouth
1 Fresh ginger slice
2 Orange slices
Top with equal parts of sparkling water and tonic water*
* FEVER TREE, made from all natural ingredients, is the recommended brand to use
Fill the Belvedere Spritz glass to the top with ice. Combine all ingredients and garnish.

Belvedere Cucumber Spritz

30 ml / 1  Oz Belvedere Vodka
30 ml / 1  Oz Dry vermouth
2 Cucumber ribbons
Top with equal parts of sparkling water and tonic water*
* FEVER TREE, made from all natural ingredients, is the recommended brand to use
Fill the Belvedere Spritz glass to the top with ice. Combine all ingredients and garnish.