There are bars, and then there are bars.
There are places where you can get a decent beer, and then there are bars where cocktails are actually a brilliant thought process brought to fruition by a combination of the perfect mix of ingredients, a creative mind, and a steady hand.
These are places are part watering hole, part religious experience — think of them as a kind of cocktail Mecca, and in the past few years they’ve become a global craze. The U.S. is no exception.
But that isn’t to say that what is made in these bars can’t be done at home — it’s magic, after all, not rocket science.
So Business Insider reached out to some of the most badass bartenders at some of the most badass cocktails bars in NYC, Portland and Washington D.C., to find out what they’re putting on their menus this summer. Some of this requires a little finesse, but not too much.
You’re creative enough to get it right.
Here are the recipes they sent over broken down by city and bar — you’re welcome.
Let’s start with New York City:
Bar: Employee’s Only – 510 Hudson Street (and definitely one of the coolest bars in town)
Drink: The Waterloo
Created by Jason Kosmas & Dushan Zaric, founders of Employee’s Only NYC
1.5 pts Plymouth Gin.75 pts Simple syrup (2:1).5 pts Campari.5 pts Fresh squeezed lemon juice4 (1×2-inch) chunks of watermelon1 watermelon wedge, with rind, for garnish
Muddle the watermelon chunks and syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass until the fruit has turned into a juice. Then add the gin, juice, and Campari and fill the glass with 5 large cold ice cubes. Shake briefly and pour unstrained into a tall Collins Glass. Garnish with the watermelon wedge.
Drink: The Martinez
2.5 pts Beefeater 24.5 pts Luxardo Maraschino liqueur.25 pts Dolin Blanc Vermouth.25 pts Absinthe Bitters1 lemon twist for garnish
Pour all liquid ingredients into a mixing glass. Add large cold ice cubes and stir for 40 revolutions. Strain into a chilled cock glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.
Bar: Gin Palace
Drink: Irish Blood, English Heart
1.5 pts Beefeater Gin.5 pts Jameson Irish Whiskey.75 pts Lemon Juice.5 pts Ginger Syrup.25 pts Grenadine
Combine all ingredients and shake. Strain into a Collins glass. Top with soda. Float (carefully dash) 4-5 dashes of angostura bitters. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Drink: Nelson’s Fix
1.5 pts Beefeater Gin.75 pts Lemon1.5 pts Amontillado Sherry.5 pts Simple Syrup2 raspberries
Do not muddle, whip shake with 3 kold draft cubes or a small amount of ice. Strain (only once) into a double rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with one raspberry speared through with a mint sprig.
Now onto Washington D.C.’s cocktail scene:
1 pt Beefeater Gin.5 pts Bulleit Rye.5 pts Kina Avoin d’or.25 pts Honey.25 pts Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
Combine all ingredients and shake. Strain into a Collins glass.
2 pts Beefeater Gin1.5 pts Safari Cordial
Pour into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
And last but not least, cocktails from Portland:
Bar: Portland Penny Diner
Drink: Coat of Arms
created by Brandon Wise
.75 pts Plymouth Gin.75 pts Lillet blanc.75 pts Bonal gentian aperitif.5 pts Tea-infused Dolin Blanc.25 pts Rothman and Winter Pear liqueur
Stir in mixing glass, strain into chilled coupe glass, garnish with expressed lemon peel
Bar: Gilt Bar/Hogsalt Hospitality
1.5 pts Plymouth Gin.75 pts Carpano Antica.5 pts Green Chartreuse1/3 of a dropper of Orange Bitters
Stir ingredients slowly in an ice filled mixing glass for 20-25 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel and luxardo cherry
.75 pts Plymouth Gin.75 pts Green Chartreuse.75 pts Luxardo Maraschino.75 pts Lime
Shake ingredients in an ice filled shaker for 20 seconds. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a luxardo cherry
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