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Life of the Party

Classic cocktails make an elegant comeback.

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         CLASSIC COCKTAILS       |    HOLIDAY RECIPES  


Sophisticated Lady: Eben Freeman's cognac-based American Beauty.  

TEXT BY ROBIN RAISFELD

Thanks to an inventive new breed of master mixologists, there’s never been a better time to belly up to the bar. They innovate, to be sure, but they’re just as likely to travel back a century or so for recipes that endure—and so should you. If you can’t tell your grenadine from your Grand Marnier, and the last time you had rye was on a sandwich, it’s time for a refresher course. The well-executed drink is a balancing act, one that relies on exact proportions and attention to the smallest details, like fresh-squeezed juices and properly textured ice. With the help of some of New York’s reigning cocktail classicists, you too can master the perfect Manhattan—not to mention the super-sophisticated American Beauty, a champagne-kissed Airmail, a bracingly bitter Negroni, and a sassy pair of Sours (Pisco and New York). The Sidecar transports you to Paris in the twenties; the Harlem, with its gin-muddled pineapple, was the toast of the Cotton Club; and the Red Lion, which won British barman Arthur Tarling first prize in a 1933 cocktail competition, roars just as loudly today. All these drinks have long, illustrious histories that make the Cosmo look like an Absolut arriviste. They’re well worth reviving. History, after all, needn’t be entirely dry.


9 Classic Cocktail Recipes...

SIDECAR     AMERICAN BEAUTY     MANHATTAN     
RED LION
     PISCO SOUR     HARLEM COCKTAIL
NEW YORK SOUR     NEGRONI      AIRMAIL

Photographed by Sang An.


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