“This has felt like the longest week of my life.” We’ve heard this over and over from members of the hospitality community who, this week, were forced to close their doors and now face an uncertain future. As of this morning, hundreds of thousands of restaurant workers are jobless. We’ve heard it, too, from politicians and community leaders, tasked with organizing under extreme conditions to help direct relief to those who need it most. And we’ve heard it from many of our readers who are navigating a new life at home, their own loss of work and the constant stream of not-great news from TV and online. But for every tale of adversity, there has been a bright spot somewhere—a reason to believe that we truly are in this together, and will get through it together. We’ll leave this week needing a drink like never before, but also hopeful.
In the spirit of both satisfying that need and rising to the occasion, we’ve collected a handful of recipes from some of our favorite bartenders and bars across the country with the opportunity to contribute directly to their respective relief funds, or just tell them how much you like their drinks. No sum is too small. No compliment too big.
Rescue Team | Alex Jump, Death & Co. | Denver
“I’ve always said this is the best cocktail I’ve ever created,” says Alex Jump of her peanut butter Daiquiri, a drink she’s kept in her back pocket for years after first trying something similar in Puerto Rico, tinkering with the formula every now and again. “This is kind of like my 2.0 version,” she says. In the cocktail, peanut butter-infused rum is complemented by banana liqueur. [Recipe] [Donate to Death & Co.’s Employee Relief Fund]
Lost Lake | Paul McGee, Lost Lake | Chicago
“This was a fun drink to create and really embodies our drink philosophy at Lost Lake,” explains Paul McGee, “tropical, complex and modern.” Riffing on Toby Maloney’s Riviera cocktail, McGee swaps gin for Jamaican rum and pineapple for passionfruit for a distinctly tropical profile. [Recipe] [Donate to Lost Lake’s Employee Relief Fund]
Doppio Spritz | Joe Campanale, Fausto | Brooklyn
Joe Campanale’s Doppio Spritz was the winner of our recent blind spritz tasting. Making use of two different aperitivos—one classically Italian and one from Brooklyn—his formula is fairly straightforward, but omits prosecco in favor of tonic water for an extra gentian kick. [Recipe] [Donate to Fausto’s Employee Relief Fund]
Revolver | Jon Santer, Prizefighter | Emeryville, CA
Many bartenders were excited by the arrival of Bulleit Bourbon on the market, Jon Santer included. He created this simple spin on a Manhattan in 2004 when working at Bruno’s in San Francisco. He later took the drink to Bourbon & Branch, where its theatrics made it famous, and then across the bay to his Emeryville bar, Prizefighter. [Recipe] [Donate to Prizefighter’s Employee Relief Fund]
Scorpion Kick | Dan Greenbaum, Diamond Reef | Brooklyn
At Diamond Reef, the Attaboy team balances attention to detail with an irreverent playfulness, offering simple, considered cocktails in a casual atmosphere. The Scorpion Kick, which reads like a modern interpretation of the Daiquiri, captures the pseudo-tropical ambiance of Brooklyn’s beloved oasis. [Recipe] [Donate to Diamond Reef’s Employee Relief Fund]
Banana Spider | Kirk Estopinal, Cane & Table | New Orleans
Though hardly a new flavor in the history of cocktails—banana liqueur has existed since the late 19th century—banana has been making its way into a growing number of recipes in every form imaginable: fermented, roasted, macerated. In New Orleans, Kirk Estopinal of Cane & Table deploys a macerated banana liqueur in the Banana Spider to amplify what is essentially a Pisco Sour riff. [Recipe] [Donate to Cane & Table’s Employee Relief Fund]
Fall Monty | Katie Stipe, Voysey | Portland, OR
This cinnamon spice-infused punch from bartender Katie Stipe marries the nuttiness of amontillado sherry with Lairds Bonded Applejack and Spanish cider to create a her own boozy riff on fall, which is best enjoyed year round. [Recipe] [Donate to Voysey’s Employee Relief Fund]