The list of Irish cocktails is not long, but the most well known and enduring is Irish coffee. First popularized in Ireland at the Shannon Airport, it gained notoriety stateside at San Francisco’s Buena Vista Café in 1952 when owner Jack Koeppler and travel writer Stanton Delaplane set out to recreate the strong, creamy mix of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, sugar, hot coffee and cold whipped cream. With such a basic recipe, there is plenty of room for variation. At Grace, a new Manhattan pub named for the Irish pirate Grace O’Mally, bartender Pam Wiznitzer created the Blind Abbot, a chilled, stirred Irish coffee that looks just like the classic hot version but tastes much more complex thanks to the addition of Angostura bitters and an espresso liqueur. Read More>
With fall less than a week away, dark, complex drinks are steadily replacing light and fruity cocktails on bar menus. Recently opened New York restaurant The Musket Room makes a fantastic transitional offering: Fumero’s Gate combines coffee-infused Cynar, rye, Aperol, Cocchi Americano and Fernet Branca. But there's a dramatic twist, literally. Bartenders finish the drink by igniting an orange twist—a touch that provides an intense burst of caramelized citrus flavor along with a brief-but-spectacular pyrotechnics show. Head sommelier Erin Scala showed us how to execute this expert technique.
First, cut a half dollar-sized circle of citrus rind with a generous amount of pith. Gripping the peel around its edges about four inches over the cocktail, very carefully hold a lighter between the cocktail and the citrus skin, warming the skin gently for a few seconds. (“You want to get it nice and shiny,” Scala advises.) Then, pinch the citrus skin so the juices spray through the flame and into the glass. The fire will briefly plume out. Then, wipe the edge of the glass with the citrus. “If your bartender loves you, they'll wipe the base of the glass too,” says Scala, “so your fingers get this lovely citrus smell when you take a drink.” Proceed with caution.
A cocktail created by a great mixologist can be as thrilling as a dish by a star chef. In this preview of the 2013 edition of F&W Cocktails, our annual compilation of the year’s best drink and bar-food recipes, we showcase some of the most inspiring combinations in America. With recipes!
Photo © Lucas Allen
Bacon is great with the smoky flavors in this mezcal cocktail.
Photo © Lucas Allen
Fried foods go well with boozy drinks. This nutty, tangy one is especially refreshing.
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Related: Reinvented Classic Cocktails