What We’re Into Right Now

A sparkling Cosmo, an exceptional Michelada, a new-to-America amaro and more.

Each month, we pull together a selection of drinking-related items that have, for one reason or another, grabbed the attention of PUNCH’s editors, who spend pretty much all day, every day surrounded by booze. Here’s what we’re into right now.

Caminante at The Cabinet | Chloe Frechette, Senior Editor
At The Cabinet, the newest venture from Greg Boehm in the former Mace space, the menu is devoted to the spirits that most frequently disappear from Boehm’s personal liquor cabinet: tequila, mezcal and rye. In addition to offering a series of flights focused on the aforementioned spirits, there’s a cocktail list created in collaboration between Boehm, spirits consultant Justin Lane Briggs and lead bartender Christina Helmer. The Caminante is one of Brigg’s contributions. Cloudy in appearance and served in a bespoke jícara, the drink resembles pulque on the surface, but conceals a dynamic cocktail underneath. Consisting of jalapeño-infused tequila, orgeat, lemon and a measure of crème de menthe, the drink manages to be both a touch spicy and cooling within a single sip.

Cosmo Royale at The Long Island Bar | Leslie Pariseau, Features Editor
I’m going to subject myself to ridicule for a moment. Every summer, I rewatch a few seasons of Sex and the City. I can’t help it. It has something to do with the tides, gravitational pull, nostalgia, PMS, IDK. Anyway, you can make the leap when I say I’ve been thinking about Cosmopolitans  Luckily, I happen to live down the street from Long Island Bar, which is presided over by Toby Cecchini, the man who forever changed America’s relationship with vodka, Cointreau and cranberry. To be sure, most iterations of the Cosmo are a bastardization of Cecchini’s original recipe, which is dry, barely pink and totally spartan in construction. The other night, I stopped by LIB and politely asked bartender Tim Miner to humor a request. “Cosmopolitan, on-the-rocks, but a royale,” I said. His eyes got wide, but he agreed, and damn was the drink delicious. It’s basically a higher octane ‘90s-tinged spritz. Via DM, Cecchini, thankfully, approved.

Bordiga Chiot Montamaro | Robert Simonson, Contributing Editor
As the amaro category becomes more and more crowded in the U.S., many of the unfamiliar imports coming in from Italy can start to taste somewhat same-ish. So when one stands out in flavor character, it makes a big impression. Such is the case with Chiot Montomaro made by Bordiga in Cuneo, in the Piedmont area of Italy near the French border. The recipe, which purportedly goes back to 1888, is made with infused and distilled flowers and alpine herbs. The flavorings are subtle and soothing, the overall liquid gently relaxing, with notes of artichoke and rhubarb mingling among the airy mountain botanicals.

Michelada Roja at Atla | Talia Baiocchi, Editor in Chief
I’ve always had a fraught relationship with the Michelada. I crave it on paper, order it frequently and almost always end up with half a glass left. It’s either too watered down or too warm, too spicy or not quite spicy enough. But I’ve finally found my ideal. At Atla, the drink begins with a superior homemade hot sauce, but it’s the unconventional use of sour beer—Evil Twin’s Geyser Gose, to be specific—that makes it crushable and refreshing in a way that the Michelada always yearns to be, but rarely is. It’s a Michelada that gives you wings. For the first time in the my life I finished a whole one—and then promptly ordered another.

Port and Tonic | Allison Hamlin, Partnerships Manager
Recently, deep into the evening during a dinner party I was hosting, someone asked if I had any port. I did, and I’ll bet you do too. It’s the kind of thing that just shows up in the back of your cabinet one day and no one knows how it got there or when it arrived (sorry, port). It will probably remain there, governed by the laws of liquor cabinet physics, until the end of days. Which is why you should definitely pour it on top of a lot of ice (in your used wine glass is totally fine), top it with tonic and spritz a twist of lemon over top. It’s perfect low-lift, sessionable solution to extending the party indefinitely.

Vigna Nica Mamertino Rosso 2015 | Lizzie Munro, Art Director
When I booked a last minute flight to Palermo last week, the first thing I did was check in with Katie Parla, author of Tasting Rome and Food of the Italian South, who can recommend the best of food and drink across most corners of Italy. In Palermo, she highlighted the wine shop Enoteca Picone, where you can drop by, snack on tomato sandwiches and potato chips and sample a wide selection of Sicilian wines by the glass (and by the pour, until you decide what you’d like to drink). I settled on a Mamertino rosso from Vigna Nica winery in Messina, located at the northeastern tip of the Island. A blend of nero d’avola, nocera and nerello mascalese, sourced from a three-hectare plot (“nica” means “little”), it’s packed with cherry and blackberry, has plenty of grip and notes of sage leaves and orange peels. It’s a no-frills red, served with a little chill, and it was just the thing I craved on my first day in Sicily.

Fruktstereo Cider Revolution | Megan Krigbaum, Contributing Editor
The total onslaught of new ciders (both American and those from abroad) in the past few years has made the category a little too daunting for me to really delve into. But then this came my way, so I opened it the other night. Since 2016, Karl Sjöström and Mikael Nypelius, friends and restaurant industry vets, have been importing natural wines from all over Europe into Sweden, as well as making pét-nat-style fruit ciders using produce (apples, pears, plums, cherries) from Sweden’s Skåne county—much of which they harvest themselves from abandoned orchards. If brett-y, sour Basque-style cider is what you’re going for, this blend of apple and pear is not that. It’s crisp and tart, like quince and Granny Smiths, with easy-going bubbles and only 5.6 percent alcohol that make drinking an entire 750 mL bottle of it completely within reason.

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