Orr Shtuhl’s recently published love letter to mixed drinks, “An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails,” is a beautiful compendium on mixed libations. The history of 50 classic cocktails is told alongside illustrations by Elizabeth Graeber and, of course, the recipes.
“A good cocktail has the intrigue of a drama,” Shtuhl writes.
The Serious Eats columnist and Brooklyn resident told us about his favorite cocktails in the city:
Remember the Alimony at The Beagle
“My bartender friends tell me that sherry cocktails are ‘in.’ Usually, I say thanks and order a glass of plain sherry. But this Negroni variation swaps Campari and vermouth for Cynar and a light fino, and the juicy, quenching result is hard to protest.” 162 Ave. A., thebeaglenyc.com
The Rancor’s Toothpick at Jake Walk
“This unassuming neighborhood joint keeps an unassuming cocktail secret: their ‘house vermouth’ is a blend of syrupy Cinzano and bitter Punt e Mes — a trick any home bartender can use. Here, the vermouths meet bourbon, Cynar and mole bitters for a darker take on a Boulevardier (i.e. a whiskey Negroni).” 282 Smith St., Carroll Gardens, thejakewalk.com
Bazucca Joe at The Shanty
“On rare occasions, I drink cocktails that are not Negronis. This includes anything with the New York Distilling Company’s rare barrel-aged gin, available only at their on-site bar, The Shanty. The mellow gin mixes with Zucca Amaro, Aperol, sugar and lemon for a refreshing sour that doesn’t quite hide the wood-aging mellowness.” 79 Richardson St., Williamsburg, nydistilling.com/the-shanty
Forgotten at Amor y Amargo
“At the heart of this drink is Salers, a gentian-based aperitif that stands out. Its sharp vegetal tones mellow when they come together with Amere Nouvelle, cognac and (encore!) the amazing amaro, Cynar.” 443 E. Sixth St., amoryamargony.com
Speak Low at Angel’s Share
“The matcha is whisked with a traditional bamboo chasen — except with rum in place of water. A splash of sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry completes it, marrying the sweet, buttery and grassy flavors.” 8 Stuyvesant St., 212-777-5415