“Brandy is usually sipped by the fireside, typically by people who have the money to spend on it,” says Chris Lowder, bar manager at the NoMad in New York City. He bucks convention, mixing the upscale spirit with Pabst Blue Ribbon and cilantro for a summery, high/low beer cocktail.
Slideshow: Brandy Cocktail Recipes
Recipe from Food & Wine Cocktails 2015
3 cilantro sprigs
3/4 ounce Fennel Syrup (see Note)
1 ounce unaged grape brandy, such as Rémy Martin V
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce Chile Cointreau (see Note)
4 ounces chilled pilsner
1 lime wheel, for garnish
How to Make It
In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 of the cilantro sprigs with the Fennel Syrup, then add the brandy, lime juice and Chile Cointreau. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well. Fine-strain (p. 27) into a chilled, ice-filled collins glass. Stir in the pilsner and garnish with the lime wheel and remaining cilantro sprig.
Fennel Syrup: In a saucepan, boil 4 ounces of water. Remove from the heat, add 1/2 cup cubed fennel (1/2-inch pieces cut from 1/2 small bulb) and let steep for 6 minutes. Remove and discard the fennel. Add 1/2 cup sugar to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Remove from the heat, let cool and transfer the syrup to a jar. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 6 ounces.
Chile Cointreau: In a liquid measuring cup, combine 3 diced unseeded Thai bird chiles with 8 1/2 ounces Cointreau and let stand for 5 minutes. Taste the mixture; when sufficiently spicy, strain the infused Cointreau into a jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Makes about 8 ounces.
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