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Dipsology — Beyond the Basics: the Controversial Cuomo Cocktails

image courtesy of Brad Slager and Scott Hounsell

Just what might Andrew Cuomo be sipping to ease his troubled mind???

The recent, jarring announcement that Andrew Cuomo is finally facing too many scandals to endure and elected to step down from his perch as the ring-leader of New York is still fresh. The scion of New York political royalty was believed to not only endure through the scandals, but to put up an epic fight to retain his seat of power. His abrupt exit leaves many still scratching their heads this weekend.

Doubtless, Andrew is someplace consoling himself with a plate of pasta, and just as likely he is nursing his wounded ego with some mind-calming potables. It is a good thing he has a passel of New York cocktails to select from to ease the pain. A great deal of the notable cocktails across the nation were birthed originally in the watering holes across the nation’s largest city, and more so, there are plenty of regionally named drinks to help the deposed pol to forget his professional trauma.

So, allow us now to comb the boroughs of the city to find some liquid relief. Here ya go, Governor — you look like you could use a snort.

The Manhattan

The drink as classy as the town it is named for, this is essentially a whiskey martini, but that is severely oversimplifying things. There are a number of variables at play, all of which are acceptable.

  • 2oz. Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1-2 dashes Bitters

Made on-the-rocks is acceptable. If serving Up, chill a martini glass with ice and water before mixing. In a shaker with ice, add the ingredients, stir at length until very chilled, strain into the now empty glass, then garnish with cherries.

VARIATIONS – Rye is the standard choice for the base, while some opt for standard blend whiskey, and bourbon is also used as an option. A dry Manhattan uses dry vermouth instead, with a lemon twist. A ‘Perfect’ version uses both Vermouths, with the drinker’s choice of garnish.

 

Long Island Ice Tea

For many a burgeoning drinker, this was entry into the realm of serious cocktails. A mammoth and monstrous concoction, you have no less than five liquors and a long night in front of you. This is made with “The Whites,” the five, clear liquors that are the first bottles in the bartender’s speedwell. You may want to adjust the quality and opt for Call brands, if the well options are notable, poor-grade liquors.

  • 1 Shot Vodka
  • 1 Shot Gin
  • 1 Shot Rum
  • 1 Shot Tequila
  • 1 Shot Triple Sec
  • Cola

In a pint glass filled 2/3 with ice, add the first five ingredients. Use a large shaker and give them one quick jolt, then fill the glass with cola. Stir, and garnish with a lemon wedge.

VARIATION – For the recent Olympics, on our “Cocktail Lounge” podcast, we offered up a themed variation called a Tokyo Tea, where the tequila was replaced with Midori/melon liqueur, and it is filled with lime soda instead of cola.

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Bronx Cocktail

This citrusy offering is rather robust, despite the prominence of fruit flavors.

  • 1 Shot Dry Gin
  • 3/4OZ. Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 1oz Orange Juice
  • 2-3 dashes Orange Bitters

Pre-chill a martini or coupe glass. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain. Garnish with orange peel.

 

New York Sour

A variation on the Whiskey Sour,. Withthis, like any other type of cocktail in this realm, avoid the sour mix and go with fresh ingredients.

  • 4-5 oz. Bourbon
  • 1oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1oz. Sweet Red Wine

In a shaker with ice combine the bourbon, syrup, and juice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain over new ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Use a spoon to float the wine on the surface.

 

The Staten Island Ferry

Just to include the outer borough, this is the more traditional cocktail named for the island. (Another is just a bastardized Pina Colada, made of Malibu rum and pineapple juice.) This is a far more complex mixture filled with dark fruits, which uses the Belgian Lambic beer made with raspberries infused during fermentation.

  • 3⁄4 oz Gin
    3⁄4 oz Framboise
    3⁄4 oz Lime juice
    1⁄2 oz Cherry Liqueur
    1⁄2 oz Aperol, or Pernod
    1⁄4 oz Grenadine
    1⁄2 oz Sparkling rosé wine

In a shaker combine the first six ingredients and stir to blend. Pour into a Collins glass and fill with the sparkling rose. Garnish with an orange wheel, folded over a raspberry.