We talk a lot about booze here at CHOW HQ—how to make it, mix it, and recover from it. While we may range far in testing and tasting different drinks, we feel strongly about our favorites. Here are the cocktails CHOW’s edit staff is drinking right now.
1. Jane Goldman, editor in chief: Manhattan. The classic is made with rye whiskey, but she likes it with bourbon. Good bourbon. “Maker’s Mark works if you have good vermouth,” Jane says. “But if you just have regular, you should use Booker’s, which is a little more complex.”
2. Davina Baum, managing editor: Negroni. Campari with a splash of soda and a twist of orange is her favorite apéritif, but when Davina wants something a little stronger she adds gin and sweet vermouth, for a Negroni.
3. Aïda Mollenkamp, associate food editor: Dark ’n’ Stormy. We tested a lot of these when we were working on our guide to making ginger beer. Aïda’s not normally a rum drinker, but she says the spiciness of the ginger beer makes this more than palatable.
4. Regan Burns, associate food editor: Concord Grape Martini. When she gets nostalgic for New York, Regan mixes up this gin-based tipple flavored with juice from the grapes that appear at Manhattan farmers’ markets every fall, grown in the Hudson Valley.
6. Lessley Anderson, senior features editor: Hoop La. The addition of Lillet Blanc to a basic Sidecar cuts the hard alcohol and transforms this into a refreshing cooler. It’s also easy to tell bartenders how to make, as all the ingredients are in equal parts.
8. Meredith Arthur, multimedia producer: Mer’s Pimm’s Cup. We think traditional Pimm’s Cup cocktails can be a bit, ahem, weak. In Mer’s variation on the classic, a healthy dose of gin pumps it up, and an orange garnish replaces the lemon.
9. Michele Foley, editorial assistant: Aperition. Developed by the bartenders at the Last Supper Club in San Francisco, this cocktail is like a Greyhound with the addition of Aperol and a dash of Rich Simple Syrup. It’s the perfect balance of bitter and sweet.
10. Kate Ramos, kitchen editorial assistant: Quaker Shaker. Inspired by the bartender at Blue Hill Stone Barns, this cocktail starts with a homemade oatmeal-and-honey-infused vodka. Then it’s topped off with cream, à la a White Russian. Like having your oatmeal in the morning, but in cocktail form.