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Mashup Cocktails That Are More Than Gimmicks

When done right, these hybrids offer new and interesting takes on old standbys.

A good rule of thumb is that trends come, go and eventually come back again, resurrected for a new generation to appreciate. So it stands to reason that it was only a matter of time before bartenders began re-working favorite recipes of bygone eras into new mashup cocktails.

Doubling down on the guiding philosophy of all cocktails—that a mixed drink can be greater than the sum of its parts—these playful hybrids often span multiple categories and styles. And they’re more prevalent than you might think. At Washington, D.C.’s Columbia Room, for example, the menu has included the Daiquirac (Daiquiri/Sazerac), the Last Cup (Last Word/Pimm’s Cup) and the Ramos Gin Swizzle (Ramos Gin Fizz/Swizzle), just to name a few. The names and combinations might seem whimsical, but the results, when done right, offer up new and interesting takes on old standbys. 

Columbia Room head bartender J.P. Fetherston has no problem admitting he loves mashups—in addition to the aforementioned cocktails, he’s also responsible for the Cosmogroni. The unexpected love child of an incongruous pair, the Cosmopolitan and the Negroni, the drink subs Aperol for Ocean Spray and acid phosphate for fresh lime, for a rosy-hued drink served on the rocks.

In a lighter take on a mashup, Natasha David’s Rivington Punch marries two iconic bubbly drinks—the white wine spritzer and the Aperol Spritz. Or, take the Sidecar 75—essentially a Sidecar variation—which gets an added dose of sweetness by way of a French 75-inspired Champagne syrup.

Then there’s Morgan Schick’s summer-ready I Am…I Said, built on crushed ice, recalling both the Mint Julep and Sherry Cobbler by utilizing measures of Curaçao and genever alongside a nutty amontillado sherry base.

One of the perks of a mashup is that it can often help to extend a drink or spirit beyond the expected parameters of the season. Such is the case with Tom Walker’s Nova Scotia, which he describes as “a Scotch Old-Fashioned meets an Alaska.” With just three ingredients—whisky, yellow Chartreuse and orange bitters—the drink is garnished with both lemon and orange twists, resulting in a complex yet simple rocks drink built for warmer days.

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