Learn the how-tos and the what-fors of proper bar speak. Get the healthy cocktail you want for exactly what you’re willing to pay by adopting a few insider tricks of the trade.
Lesson Number One: Like an Entrée
You probably don’t think of ordering a drink the same way you would a meal, but you should. Reasonably priced restaurants offer main courses for around the same amount you’ll typically pay for a specialty cocktail.
Say you want chicken paillard, light on the oil with extra greens. That’s not such an odd ask. Or, maybe you’re dining with a super picky eater who effectively creates his or her own dish off the menu. Chances are, waiters will accommodate the most bizarre request if the kitchen’s able.
The Sloe Gin Ginger Sling at Bathtub Gin in Chelsea comes prepared the following way: with Beefeater gin, Plymouth sloe gin, Cherry Heering, crème de apricot, fresh lime juice, fresh ginger extract, cane syrup and chilled Perrier on the rocks. Tasty stuff, but maybe baby has an allergy to ginger, likes room temperature Perrier or prefers Tanqueray instead of Beefeater. For 15 quid, don’t feel abashed about asking the bartender to do a little tweaking.
Lesson Number Two: Sparkling Wine vs. Champagne
“I’ll have a glass of champagne” certainly rolls off the tongue. It rings of refinement and sophistication, and deservedly so. However, refinement and sophistication come at a price. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, but still want to partake in a low calorie (90 calories per glass) pinky raiser, ask for sparkling wine. Do not, under any circumstance, utter the word “champagne.” This will broaden your options from the namesake created in the French region Champagne to a whole host of equally if not more delicious palliatives. Prosecco from Veneto, Italy or Cava from Spain make for great alternatives.
Flashbang (A Healthy French 75)
– 1 ½ ounces Crop Organic Artisinal Vodka
– 4 ounces Gruet Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine (about $16.00 retail)
– ½ ounce fresh lime juice
1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice
2. Pour vodka and lime juice into shaker
3. Shake thoroughly until sufficiently cold
4. Strain liquid into 6 oz. champagne flute
5. Finish with Gruet top-off
6. Optional: garnish with lime twist