The classic daiquiri consists of rum, lime, and sugar, but flavorwise,
"you can add everything under the sun," explains Julie.
These days expect fresh passion fruit, mango, and guava, as
well as exotics like Kaffir limes and Meyer lemons.
to get it: Because they use fresh fruit, Julie cites the
cocktails at SushiSamba. She also gives props to Asia
de Cuba, where rum is the speciality of the house. Among
their twists: A giant Tiki Puka Puka bowl made with tropical
juices and three kinds of Bacardi.
is meaningless if standards are subpar. "One tiki lounge
that shall remain nameless just dumped in the ingredients without
even stirring it," groans David. Audrey quotes the legendary
bon vivant Charles Baker: "Remember please, that a too-sweet
daiquiri is like a lovely lady with too much perfume."
Where to get it: David and Audrey both swear by the classic
daiquiri at Milk & Honey. "It's the only place
I'll order one," says Audrey.
The Bloody Mary
Bloody Marys are "a very forgiving drink,"
says David, who's tinkered with different hot sauces, as well
as vodka steeped in jabañero peppers. Julie is seeing
a lot of experimentation with heat (wasabi) and garnish (string
beans, grilled shrimp).
Where to get it: For sheer invention, Julie cites the
"Bloodless" Mary at Dylan Prime Loungechilled
vodka infused with horseradish, pepper, and celery seed, served
straight up in a martini glass.
Although most make theirs with vodka, Audrey prefers gin.
"The original Bloody Mary, the 'Red Snapper' was made
with gin. I think it's excellent and prefer it to vodka."
to get it: "I'm partial here," says Audrey.
"Tommy Rowles [the senior bartender at Bemelmans Bar]
makes the best Bloody Mary mix I've ever had. And he won't
give me the recipe!" she laughs. She likes Rowles's Taittinger
champagnetopped speciality, "A Bloody Shame,"
even better. "It's savory and bubbly at the same time
and I friggin' love it."
The original gin-and-vermouth definition grew to include vodka,
and "now it's anything that comes in a v-shaped glass,"
says Audrey. Martinis used to be a lot smaller, which she
prefers, because "you could enjoy it before it got warm."
to get it: If you're going to go big, why not go for broke
at Dylan Prime Lounge, where you can get a 48-ounce
martini glass. "It works," says Audrey, "because
it's meant for a bunch of people."
"The term martini is used more loosely," so Julie
gets people drinking gin "by making it more approachable."
The Flatiron Lounge now makes a martini mixed with
pomegranate, a fruit so popular "people are coming in
asking for it."
to get it: Julie is a fan of mixologist Jerri Banks, who
created the drink menu at Indian-fusion lounge Taj.
Try Banks's signature twist, the Juniperotivo, a blend of
Junipero gin, lime, mint, and pomegranate molasses.
Not all lounges are serving Sex and the Citystyle
"martinis." "There has been some backlash to
the chocolate martini movement," says David, who's seeing
a return to the gin classic.
to get it: David prefers the bar at Peter Luger.
"Those old Irish guys know exactly how to do it,"
he says. "Besides, what else are you gonna drink there?"
He also enjoys the "effective and cold" gin martinis
at The Roxy Bar on Smith Street, which has "a
great punk-rock jukebox."
"There's been a lot of innovation in the margarita field
over the years," says David, pointing to the old Caramba
chain, a Manhattan purveyor of frozen margaritas made with
grain-alcohol that proliferated in the late '80s and early
'90s, "but now it's high-end monkeying around."
That includes fresh herbs like basil.
to get it: David enjoyed a basil margarita (it was "a
bit too sweet," though) at Dos Caminos, which
carries over a 150 varieties of tequila. But remember, "There's
no point in using an $80 bottle of tequila in a margarita."
Her main complaints include frozen fruit and watery drinks,
like when a bar recently served her a margarita with the ice
it was shaken in. "I've had bad luck with margaritas
to get it: Julie concedes that the blood-orange margarita
made with fresh fruit at Blue Smoke is up to snuff.
"Everything is going into margaritas, from mangoes to
rosemary. But I'm a fart, and like the traditional recipe."
to get it: According to Audrey, Winston at Zarela's
makes "one of the best margaritas in the city."
|| Drop me a lime: A
classic daiquiri at Milk & Honey. (Photo credit: Carla
Morgans Hotel, 237 Madison Ave., between 37th and
134 Eldridge St., between Broome and Delancey Sts.
Seventh Ave. South, at Barrow St.
Park Ave. South, at 20th St.
The Bloody Mary
Hotel, 35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave
Laight St., at Greenwich St.
Minty fresh: Jerri Banks's Juniperotivo at Taj.
(Photo credit: Kate Appleton)
Laight St., at Greenwich St.
W. 19th St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves.
Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, between Bedford and
Smith St., Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, between Bergen and
48 W. 21st
St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves.
E. 27th St., between Park and Lexington Aves.
Park Ave. South, between 26th and 27th Sts.
W. Broadway, at Houston St.
Second Ave., between 50th and 51st Sts.