Creative Cocktails That Everyone Needs To Drink This Fall

Cocktail etiquette in New York City has a long standing history defined by some classic drinks.

Creative Cocktails
Photo by Flickr user jen

Cocktail etiquette in New York City has a long standing history defined by some classic drinks and yet, it is an ever evolving art form that draws clients and customers who don’t tolerate close minded and self satisfied bartenders. Cocktail hour demands concoctions that currently embrace ingredients like cucumbers pickled in sake, to white chocolate drops in rum, to hot chili and curry leaves in martinis, to… the running of the Red Bulls (which can be mixed with most anything.)

The exotic and the cool factor are king in this industry and there are only a few mixologists that I trust with my buds. My taste buds that is. One of these new and rising faces is a young handsome devil of a bartender named Brian Roncancio. Brian holds court in the speak easy style back room of a cute hybrid coffee shop bar named, The Roost NYC. I asked Brian to tell me his top three cocktails of the moment and he instantly hit me off with three drinks that I can get behind, and one in particular: The Espresso Old Fashioned.

I love this drink because I love espresso and the Roost NYC uses coffee from Brooklyn Roasters, so the quality is very high! “This is an off the menu cocktail offered at The Roost with our spin on the classic Old Fashioned, by adding fresh espresso into the mix. The cocktail was created for our opening day and for many regulars of The Roost, the Espresso Old Fashioned is a must have.”

Espresso Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Rye whiskey
  • 1 brown sugar cube
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnished with a lemon peel
  • Served on the rocks

After getting pumped up on the espresso Old Fashioned, Brian versed me in the storied American cocktail, the Sazerac. “The Sazerac is a classic, with its birthplace being New Orleans dating back to the 19th century. Originally using Cognac or Rye Whiskey the Sazerac is seeing a resurgence in the cocktail world, due to the growth of craft distilleries in the U.S. I find myself being asked to prepare this delicious marriage of Cognac, sugar, bitters, and absinthe more and more.”

Traditional Sazerac

  • 2oz Cognac brandy
  • 1 sugar cube/brown sugar cube
  • 2 dashes Peychaud Bitters
  • Absinthe rinse
  • Lemon zest
  • Served neat in a chilled glass

The third and final cocktail Brian presented to me was something he “Found inspiration in while working on the Roost spring cocktail menu, using one of my favorite spirits: Bourbon. I wanted to capture the feel of spring and so we will be offering a cocktail that combines mango and lemon juice, with a bit of agave, served super chilled on the rocks. It’s called “Takes Two to Mango.”

Takes Two To Mango

  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Mango Juice
  • ¾ Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Agave Nectar
  • Garnished with Basil leaves
  • Served on the rocks

After sitting and sipping these three cocktails with Brian, I coherently slurred my final question. I had to ask why being behind the bar is a such a joy for him.

“Mixology and bartending for me are much more than a way to earn a living. They are an extension of my personality, my knowledge, and the craft of drink making and I love the opportunity to leverage my current knowledge base to my clients, while continuing my quest for even more knowledge in this exciting business.”

So, this spring get your Mango Agave kicks with It Takes Two to Mango, or settle into your comfort zone with a Traditional Sazerac, or finally, take lift off with a new buzz on the Old Fashion with, an Espresso Old Fashion! Brian is there to serve you with a smile and terrific insight, just as you deserve.

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