New York Magazine

  Our Expert Panel
 
  Meet Julie Reiner, Audrey Saunders, and David Wondrich.  
  Classics with a Twist
 
  New spins on daiquiris, Bloody Marys, martinis, and margaritas.  
  Masters of the Mix
 
  When our experts are thirsty, here are the bartenders they trust.  
  Trend Report
 
  What's hot, from sassy saketinis to all cocktails pomegranate.  
  Get the Recipes
 
  Our panel of experts provides recipes from the city's best bars.  
Trend Report
New Yorkers are crazy for sake, sidecars, pomegranate, and flower blossoms. Remy Red subway ads? That's another story.
 
 
Flower power: Jerri Banks's Elderflower at Taj. (Photo credit: Kate Appleton)   It's the pom: Stefan Trummer's Magnolia at Bar Masa. (Photo credit: Kate Appleton)
 
BY CARLA SPARTOS
 
THE "IT" COCKTAIL
"Anything made with sake," says Audrey Saunders, who adds that many bars are "over-infusing" the Japanese rice beer (or wine, depending on who you ask) or mixing it with too much fruit puree. Cocktails made with pomegranate are also hot. Says Julie Reiner of her pomegranate martini: "It sells like ridiculous." Bars are now combining the two trends: Bao 111 infuses sake with fresh pomegranate, and Bar Masa serves their saketinis mixed with fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice.
 
Audrey Recommends: A basic saketini at Geisha, Bao 111, or Bar Masa. Sake can be likened to dry vermouth, explains Audrey, and its gentle flavor isn't overpowered by vodka or gin.
 
SUMMER'S HOTTEST
"It's not likely the mojito will be replaced anytime soon," says Audrey, but when the weather heats up, David Wondrich wants "a nice big Tom Collins with lots of gin, lots of ice," while Julie can't get enough of "iced tea-based cocktails."
 
Julie Recommends: A tea-based cocktail at Taj (the new Pomander mixes in clove tea) or one of her own signature house infusions at Flatiron Lounge.
 
IT'S A DATE
"I generally witness champagne or a champagne cocktail on dates," says Audrey. Julie likes the classic French 75, a blend of gin, lemon juice, and sugar that's topped off with champagne, and featured on the menu at Flatiron Lounge.
Julie Recommends: The French 75 at Campbell Apartment, Temple Bar, Bemelmans Bar, and Milk & Honey. "It makes you look like you know what you're talking about," she says.
 
POWER LUNCH POWWOW
If it ain't sparkling mineral water, forget it. "Gordon Gecko has left the house," quips Audrey.
 
THE CLASSIC COMEBACK
The sidecar, a mix of cognac, lemon juice, and Cointreau, which David likens to a "brandy margarita," is making a comeback. According to Julie, it's the number-one seller on the classic list at Flatiron Lounge.
David Recommends: A sidecar at Schillers Liquor Bar, Bemelmans Bar, or 5 Ninth, where he created the cocktail list. "It's suave and extremely strong," he says.
 
GARNISHES TO GO GAGA FOR
"The sky's the limit," says David, including exotic fruits (kiwi, starfruit, kumquat) and herbs like lemongrass. Audrey is not only seeing sliced ginger, but flowers, too.
Audrey Recommends: A limited-edition cherry-blossom-and-champagne cocktail at Sumile that "was visually stunning." Audrey also uses orchids and pansies at Bemelmans Bar.
 
PRIMO PRESENTATION
Interesting glassware abounds. Audrey loves Julie's "cocktail flights," which "look fabulous." And Julie is a fan of Audrey's "dividends," in which the cocktail-shaker extra is strained and served chilled on ice.
 
THOSE REMY RED SUBWAY ADS
"I thought the combination of fluorescent lighting with the brightness of the ad color was too agressive and in your face," complains Audrey. "I feel underrepresented by them," whines David. "No comment," grumbles Julie.
 
Updated April 19, 2004