While we’re in the business of making sophisticated swimsuits for the modern gentleman, and journal regularly about travel, a great cocktail also sits high on our list of things we love. We’ll call ourselves amateur cocktail enthusiasts, and we’ve found our way to a good number of the cocktail bars on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, and many, many others that deserve praise.
Over the last few years of exploring, we’ve met some very talented bartenders and professional cocktail enthusiasts. Fortunately for us - and for you - we’ve kept in touch with these special people and thought we’d have them let you in on their little secrets.
Below are a handful of our favourite cocktails from top talents we’ve met at home and abroad. Warning: you may find yourself quickly inspired to go out and purchase a bar cart, or, if you’re like us and already have one, re-stock and expand your collection of spirits.
First documented in the 1988 edition of Mr. Boston: Official Bartender's Guide, this classic replaces gin with a magical spirit deeply rooted in Mexican culture. The dark, burnt citrus bitterness of Campari plays nicely with a deep, smoky mezcal. If you're drawn to negronis like we are, mix things up this fall and substitute mezcal for your usual gin.
- 1.5oz Los Siete Misterios Mezcal
- 0.5oz Besazal Dry Vermouth
- 0.5oz Casa Mariol Vermut Negre
- 0.5oz Campari
- 2 dash Angostura bitters
Stir all ingredients on ice in mixing glass and fine strain into an old fashioned glass. Rub rim of glass with grapefruit twist and toss twist on top to garnish.
Julian, Fauna - Ottawa, Canada | @faunaottawa
Cooler in Red
This cocktail is impressively complex with interesting mix of sweet, salty and bitter. Inspired by Killer in Red, a take on the negroni, it’s refreshing and well balanced, perfect for warm summer evenings. Don’t leave out the strawberry salt — it’s the key ingredient in bringing this drink to life.
- 1.5oz Ketel One vodka infused with jasmine
- 0.5oz Campari
- 0.25-0.5oz Acqua di Cedro
- 0.75oz strawberry cordial with malic acid
Shake all ingredients on ice, with exception of prosecco. Serve in wine glass garnished with strawberry salt. Top with prosecco.
To make strawberry salt: dehydrate strawberries using dehydrator or low temperature bake, add salt to taste, and blend to fine powder.
Jan, Kolibri Cocktail Bar - Ljubljana, Slovenia | @kolibricocktailbar
Game Set Match
Game Set Match is a take on the traditional Manhattan cocktail, created by J.P. Caceres-Roja in Washington, D.C. in 2013. A Bolivian mixologist living in the United States, Caceres was on a lapsed visa when he ended up in an altercation with a taxi driver, leading to his deportation.
This drink is best served on a cold, wintery day when you're seeking a little fire in your belly and a change from your usual Manhattan. Cynar offers distinct flavours, with smokiness and walnut aromas. 'Best sipped in a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches' according to our friend and mixologist, Dave. Carpano's Antica Formula delivers bitter chocolate and spicy oak flavours, upping the sophistication from your local watering hole.
- 2oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
- 0.5oz Carpano Antica Formula
- 0.5oz Cynar
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Maraschino cherries
Mix Carpano Antica with the Cynar and your preferred bourbon (Buffalo Trace highly recommended), a dash of angostura bitters, and garnish with 'three maraschino cherries, for great sex'.
Dave, Old Salt - Prince Edward County, Canada | @oldsaltcocktails
Stormy Old Fashioned
- 1oz Talisker Storm whisky
- 1oz Singleton whisky
- 0.25oz maraschino liqueur
- 0.25oz agave syrup
- 0.25oz ginger syrup
- 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- Zest of lemon
Stir all ingredients on ice in mixing glass and strain into a rocks glass over 2" ice cube. Garnish with lemon zest.
Nathan, On The Rocks - Paris, France | @ontherocks_paris