How to Invent Your Own House Cocktail

pouring stirred cocktail

Having a house cocktail in your dinner party arsenal is endlessly more interesting than serving gin and tonics or whiskey on the rocks. In a test of his own house cocktail, Bon Appétit writer Dan Saltzstein brought his “The Witty Comeback” to PDT’s Jim Meehan for a critique. Although it “would never make the PDT menu,” Saltzstein’s efforts are a starting point for successfully crafting a special drink. 

The idea for The Witty Comeback came to Saltzstein while he was sipping amaro at PDT. After a couple of attempts, he nailed a mixture of rye whiskey, Averna, fresh lemon juice and ginger simple syrup, with an orange twist for garnish. 

“The house cocktail should be indicative of your tastes, yet appeal to a broad enough audience,” writes Saltzstein. He also emphasizes the importance of balancing flavors whilst challenging the guests’ palate with interesting ingredients like amaro. Saltzstein recommends naming your house cocktail as well; “Ownership was key.” [Bon Appétit] [Photo: Daniel Krieger]