1 1/2 ounces peppercorn-infused Chopin vodka
2 ounces honeydew juice
1/2 ounce sherbet syrup
1 dash celery bitters
Place all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and strain. Pour into a beautiful glass, then add crushed ice.
Inspiration: “I feel like honeydew is a real unsung hero when it comes to flavors. It’s light, refreshing, and it really screams summer.” — Mai Jeans, lead bartender, Alla Famiglia
When in Rum
2 ounces banana-infused Sailor Jerry spiced rum
1 ounce Thai chili-infused Aperol
4 dashes Wigle mole bitters
Soak super-ripe bananas in rum for at least two weeks. Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir until mixing glass is chilled and flavors are blended well. Take care not to over dilute this cocktail. The delicate flavor of the banana can be lost. Serve in a rocks glass over a large cube.
Pro tip: Having a sous vide for this would cut time greatly and intensify the flavor of the banana. Thinly slice three Thai chilis for one 750ml bottle of Aperol. Anything more will result in big heat. Add more chilis if you dare!
1 1/2 ounces Casamigos Mezcal
1/2 ounces lime juice
1/2 ounces raw honey syrup
5 chunks of mango
5 cilantro leaves
Muddle mango, lime juice, and cilantro leaves inside a shaker tin. Add raw honey syrup and Casamigos Mezcal. Shake and (do not strain) dump into Double Old Fashioned glass. Top with cream soda and Tajin for rim.
Inspiration: “George Clooney is a babe and he makes great tequila and mezcal. Do you really need anything else?” — Mai Jeans
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce orange juice
Shake vermouth, campari, and OJ, and double strain into a flute. Top with Champagne.
Inspiration: If a Sbagliato and a mimosa came together and had a love child. It’s really a beautiful thing.
Tarragona, My Love
1 1/2 ounce tarragon-infused Barr Hill Gin
3/4 ounce watermelon-apple syrup
3/4 ounce celery juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/4 ounce yellow chartreuse
Shake and double strain into a large coupe.
Inspiration: Chartreuse is a very special spirit with a lot of history. I named this drink after the city in Spain where French monks built a new distillery after being expelled from the French government in 1903. Something to read up on while your sipping this refreshing number.
Quill of the Creek
1 1/2 ounce smoked maple Knob Creek
3/4 ounce grilled pineapple juice
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
5 mint leaves
Muddle raspberries in the bottom of a double Old Fashioned glass. Pack ice on top of raspberries. In a shaker tin, add remaining ingredients, making sure to tear mint leaves in half. Shake and strain over ice and raspberries in prepared double Old Fashioned glass.
Inspiration: Bénédictine is one of my favorite liqueurs to mix with. It can bring more depth to a flavor profile that simple syrup can’t. The history behind how it is made and its origin is really fun to talk about with guests as well.
Sip and Smile
1 1/2 ounces Effen Cucumber vodka
3/4 ounce Taramind simple syrup
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/4 ounce Peach liqueur
2 ounce coconut milk
Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Shake and strain.
Inspiration: Coconut is a flavor that holds much memory for me. Growing up I spent a lot of time cooking with my mother and coconut milk was used a lot. The creaminess of coconut I find to be very comforting, and I love to mix with it.