Six Chic Cocktails, Each Featuring a Different Base Alcohol

Mixed drink recipes we've collected from stylish events

New York City is never in short supply of jazzy venues with signature mixed drinks. Traversing cocktail bars and parties, one confronts a number of concoctions, some successful and others not so much. The following six drinks made their way to our lips over the last month, from filmic moments to fashion parties and even sporting events. They vary in complexity and strength, but all of them have an innate elegance. There’s a vodka, whisky, tequila, gin, London dry gin, and cider-based option—with a bit of champagne thrown in for good measure. Arguably of greater importance, there are floral and fruity options, some quite stiff and others born with gossamer wings. It’s never easy to whittle down options, but these exemplary and distinct cocktails just get it right.

Cidre Unplugged

Debuting at one of the most exciting and exclusive events during New York Fashion Week, Bazaar Icons hosted by Harper’s Bazaar and Carine Roitfeld, the Cidre Unplugged is built upon Stella Artois Cidre. A bouquet of fruit makes up the result of the light, effervescent drink. For all the levity and sweetness, though, the diversity of fruit components lead to something substantial and nuanced.

3 oz Stella Artois Cidre

1 oz pink grapefruit juice

.5 oz raspberry puree

Dash of lemon juice

.5 oz cherry puree (boiron)

Thyme twig

3 pc peppermint leaves

Slice of Granny Smith apple

At the bottom of the Stella Artois Cidre glass, add the cherry puree. Add a few ice cubes. Top with pink grapefruit juice and raspberry puree. Top it off with Stella Artois Cidre. For garnish, add a slice of granny smith apple, twig of thyme and a couple peppermint leaves.

Ode to Dreams

Many fans of the original “Blade Runner” might be aware of one unique cameo: a bottle of Johnnie Walker. To celebrate the sequel, the globally recognizable blended scotch brand created a new expression called the Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut, put it in a futuristic, geometric bottle and then made a series of signature cocktails to accompany the release. As for the tipple itself, it’s a limited edition liquid by Master Blender Jim Beveridge in collaboration with filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. The smoke is light but present. Acclaimed bartender Sam Anderson created the Ode to Dreams specifically for this blend and it’s impressive beyond expectation. Anderson was going for futurism but invoked elegance for sure.

1 oz Johnnie Walker Black Label Director’s Cut

.75 oz Wildflower Vermouth

.5 oz activated charcoal-chili-cyrup

.5 oz citrus-cordial isonoyuki for garnish

Pink and peach rose petals for garnish

Sansho Peppercorn Oil for garnish

Pre-chill cocktail glass with dry ice. Combine Johnnie Walker Black Label Director’s Cut, wildflower vermouth, activated charcoal-chili-syrup and citrus-cordial into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain contents into pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with isonoyuki, pink and peach rose petals and a dash of sansho peppercorn oil.

$100 Suprema Rose Gold Paloma

Imagined by Veronica Correa of FIFTY, the $100 Suprema Rose Gold Paloma has been assembled for Hispanic Heritage Month. This variation on one of Mexico’s most beloved cocktails features Herradura Selección Suprema Extra Añejo Tequila, an aged agave wonder worthy of its hefty price tag. At FIFTY, the drink will only be available until 15 October but this is definitely one worth making at home.

2 oz Herradura Selección Suprema Extra Añejo tequila

.75 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice

.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

.5 oz bourbon barrel orange bitters

.25 cup extra dry champagne

Edible rose gold shimmer dust

Coarse turbinado sugar or kosher salt for rim (based on preference)

Combine sugar or salt with a pinch of edible rose gold shimmer dust. Rub half of rim of a glass with a grapefruit or lime wedge; dip rim of glass in mixture. Combine Herradura Selección Suprema Extra Añejo Tequila, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, and a few pinches of edible rose gold shimmer dust in glass over ice and stir. Top off with champagne and garnish. To make lime rose garnish, simply peel the rind in one continuous strip and roll it up.


NYC has a new home for concoctions from legendary bartender Thomas Waugh, The Pool Lounge. This new cocktail destination overlooks THE POOL, the restaurant occupying the former Four Seasons space in the landmarked Seagram Building. As for the Orange cocktails, Waugh shares that “One day I received a box of Clementine oranges by mistake. Instead of sending them back I split one open and ate it. I was so shocked by how aromatic and sweet the outer peel was, and I knew I wanted that flavor in a drink. So instead of juicing them, I smashed the whole fruit and strained it. What came out of it was a bitter orange screwdriver variation.” All of the cocktails on site focus on one flavor, and powerfully.

2 oz Plymouth Gin

1 oz sweet clementine juice (with peels added)

.5 oz lemon juice

.75 oz Aperol

.5 oz passionfruit mix*

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a snifter glass and garnish with a lime rind horse’s neck.

*Passionfruit Mix

2 tsp cane syrup

1 tsp passionfruit puree

1 tsp Mandarine Napoleon

King’s Cup

Developed in honor of the forthcoming Montblanc Legend Night cologne, the King’s Cup premiered at Please Don’t Tell this week, a vision of PDT’s General Manager Jeff Bell. Dry gin drives the mixed drink, but Creme Yvette and Italicus Rosolio burst forth with an array of uncommon flavors—from mixed berries to bergamot and chamomile.

1.5 oz Aria gin

.75 oz Italicus Rosolio

.5 oz lemon juice

.25 oz Creme Yvette

.25 oz simple syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lavender sprig.

The Honey Deuce

Far from a new creation, the Honey Deuce has been the official cocktail of the US Open for 11 years now. Developed by Nick Mautone at Grey Goose, it’s not only served at the event but at bars across the city. It’s direct, delightful and quite easy to enjoy with the lemonade and raspberry volleying back and forth for attention on the palate.

1.25 oz Grey Goose vodka

3 oz fresh squeezed lemonade

.5 oz Chambord or premium raspberry liqueur

Crushed ice

Frozen honeydew melons for garnish

Fill a chilled highball glass with ice and add Grey Goose vodka. Top with lemonade and then add Chambord. Garnish with skewer of honeydew melon balls. Note: place honeydew melon in freezer beforehand, then use a melon baller to create tennis ball-like melon balls.

King’s Cup image by Jeff Bell, all other images courtesy of respective venues