Last summer, on a very hot and steamy July night, my daughter and I arrived a few minutes early for our reservation at Scarpetta on West 14th Street in New York. The restaurant had been on our list for quite a while but for some reason we just never quite got there. I was looking forward to being wowed by the meal and cocktails were the last thing on my mind (okay, that’s a bit of a lie-they’re always on my mind). There’s nothing like a good cocktail, but at an Italian restaurant for me it’s wine, Prosecco or a Spritz. And we were there for the food.
On this ungodly hot summer night, with sweat dripping down my face and swollen feet that were killing me (but with very cute shoes), I wanted something cold and refreshing. The bartender took one look at us and immediately set down two iced cold glasses of the best water in the world (New York City tap water), and gave us the cocktail menu.A bourbon Manhattan (preferably Knob Creek, a tiny drizzle of cherry juice and 2 cherries with an extra glass of ice on the side) is always my cocktail of choice, especially in the winter and even better in front of the fire. But definitely not on a sweltering New York summer evening. After a quick glance at the aperitvo menu I wasn’t thinking cocktails.
Then a drink caught my eye, called the San Remo named after the gorgeous city on the Italian Riviera. A few girlfriends and I had some antics there several years ago and this cocktail included my favorite spirits – bourbon, vermouth, Campari and elderflower so I figured it must be a sign from the libation god up above and ordered it. The combination of all four liquors, gently shaken and poured over ice, was a superb medley of sweet, bitter and boozy all rolled up into one glorious cocktail. Complete with a Luxardo cherry on top. A new favorite was added to the cocktail repertoire!I changed things around a bit as the original recipe included a splash of orange juice and a bit less bourbon. But I succumb to the wise words of my father (Dewar’s on the rocks) when I became of legal drinking age and my girlfriends and I were making concoctions like Whiskey Sours, Tequila Sunrises and Slo Gin Fizzes – “If you’re going to drink…then just drink!”
And the food at Scarpetta? Amazing!Beautiful barware makes the cocktail even more special. We’re giving away one set of these gorgeous Simon Pearce cordial glasses courtesy of Mulholland and Sachs. Just leave a comment below of your favorite cocktail and your best memory of drinking it or Like, Share and Comment on our Facebook page! (Sorry, we can only ship within the US.) Enter by midnight January 29, 2016.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER, ELLEN LANGE!!
- 1½ oz. sweet Vermouth
- 1 oz. elderflower liqueur
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. Bourbon
- Combine all 4 ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.
- Shake well and strain over ice in a rocks glass.
- Garnish with orange slice and cherry.