Call it new age tropical: At Bemelmans Bar in the Hotel Carlyle, master mixologist Audrey Saunders is adding the Caribbean fruit soursop to lemon, gin, and bitters, and garnishing the drink with an orchid instead of a tiny umbrella. While paying homage to Trader Vic’s–style sweet tropical highballs, these days Saunders and her colleagues at bars all around town are responding to the exploding popularity of Asian, Indian, and other non-Western cuisines by tweaking their summer cocktails with tamarind nectar, lemongrass, almond syrup, and other unfamiliar tastes. “Light, clean, and refreshing is what we’re after,” Saunders says. With a pungent dash of nostalgia.
All recipes serve 1 unless noted.