A night of French spirits and dancing at Astor Center
Ooh la la! Last night we got a comprehensive education in French spirits at the Dizzy Fizz French Spirits Soiree at the Astor Center, and we realized it's not just about cognac anymore. Classics like Pernod Absinthe, Lillet, armagnac, vermouth, Cointreau and Benedictine have all gotten facelifts and are re-imagined for the modern era of the cocktail—and newcomers like St. Germain and June Liqueur with their herbaceous, floral notes are like the must-have fashionable Chanel bags of the season.
We've been hearing a lot about vermouth cocktails lately and there were some delicious ones being offered last night. Some highlights for you to try at home, try mixing the robust Bonal Gentian Quina Vermouth with a good rye and some bitters for a masculine aperitif or a summery refresher of the blond Dolin Vermouth with club soda and a fresh strawberry-or for something sophisticated and complex we loved Noilly Pratt Vermouth with creme de cassis and club soda. Stodgy Armagnac also surprised us in a light summer punch with grapefruit and nutmeg. And with a light hand Cointreau is not just for margaritas, try kicking up a fizzy lemonade with muddled basil and a little of the orange liqueur.