Tyson Buhler, Death & Co, New York, New York
When it comes to session cocktails that completely forgo a strong primary spirit, bitter is better, at least according to Tyson Buhler. “Bitter is an extremely complex sensation,” says the Death & Co bartender, who balances the gentian-derived bite of the French aperitif Salers with off-dry Quinta do Infantado white port, which offers subtle hints of almond. With the additions of lemon juice and soda, the result is a very drinkable cocktail that, in Buhler’s words, “still has enough depth to keep things interesting.”
Garnish: GRAPEFRUIT HALF WHEEL
1 ounce Quinta do Infantado white port
1 ounce Salers Gentiane
1 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Combine the port, Salers, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice, top with soda water, and garnish with the grapefruit half wheel.
MAKES ABOUT 1¼ CUPS
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Combine the sugar and water in a small pot over very low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a plastic glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from Session Cocktails: Low-Alcohol Drinks for Any Occasion by Drew Lazor and the Editors of PUNCH, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.