A Cocktail Lesson with Leo Robitschek
Inspired by her book, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen, F&W editor in chief Dana Cowin gets a lesson on making holiday drinks. Her tutor: Leo Robitschek, the star mixologist behind Manhattan’s NoMad Bar and The NoMad Cocktail Book.
DO: Leo has a refined “shake” that looks like a figure eight. I couldn’t quite get that right, but mine is still effective: I hoist the shaker over my right shoulder, then push toward my left foot, over and over. The benefit is that if any liquid spurts out, it won’t splatter me or the guests.
DO:Worried about spilling, I always hold the jigger over the shaker. Turns out this is a bad idea because if I do spill, I’ll have no idea how much booze I’ve tipped into the shaker, or how much more I’ll need for the drink. Leo says to always hold the jigger off to the side.
DON'T:My decorative citrus slices for the Anjou Punch fell flat on the ice. Leo showed me how to push some of the crushed ice to the middle of the bowl, slide each slice of citrus into place with a long stirrer, then push the ice back to keep the fruit in place.
DO:To make punch for 12, I combined all the ingredients at once. But Leo prefers working in batches, to be sure the ingredients are well mixed; then he pours everything into the ice-filled punch bowl.