The return to classic drinks, or at least some classic ingredients, is the hottest thing on the American cocktail scene this year. Here is a look at several examples.
• Audrey Sanders, who owns The Pegu Club in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, has a growing reputation among cocktailians. Not only does she provide imaginative, fresh ingredients for her lengthy line of drinks, she's picky about the size and density of her ice cubes (1.25-inch squares, frozen very hard to keep drinks from getting watery), and she provides a condiment set to patrons who can add a touch of sweet, citrus or aromatic flavors to their drinks.
Sanders is big on gins, which I've noted in previous stories are making a distinct comeback in American cocktail circles, with about 30 brands on hand. Here's one of her recipes:
2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. orange curaçao (or Cointreau if you omit bitters)
1 or 2 dashes orange or Angostura bitters
Put all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
• In Washington, D.C., the iconic McCormick & Schmick's recently introduced a Great American Cocktails menu that lists drinks by their years of creation. It also includes a brief history of each drink. A few examples:
1874 Manhattan: Gentleman Jack, sweet vermouth, Regan's No. 6 Orange and Angostura bitters.
Moscow Mule (1940s): Stolichnaya vodka, lime, ginger ale and soda.
Drambuie Fizz: Drambue Scotch liqueur with muddled limes, spiced honey, served over crushed ice.
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