The Madison Park Smash is essentially a cross between a sour and the “layman’s julep,” served from a nearly two-foot tall vessel equipped with a spigot. “To tell you the truth, the Cocktail Explosion is the best wingman at the bar,” jokes bar manager Pietro Collina of the enormous, sharable drinks currently on the menu at New York’s The NoMad Bar.
- 2 ounces demerara syrup (1:1, demerara sugar:water)
- 6 ounces lemon juice
- 8 ounces Cognac, preferably Pierre Ferrand
- 8 ounces Royal Combier Grande Liqueur
- 10 mint leaves, plus additional mint sprigs for garnish
- Angostura bitters, to taste
Garnish: mint sprigs
- Place a generous amount of mint in the base of a cocktail vessel equipped with a spigot.
- Fill the container half full with crushed ice, making sure to pack it tightly to prevent the drink from melting too quickly.
- Using a barspoon, place a ring of lemon wheels around the edges of the ice so that the fruit is pressed against the glass.
- Continue filling the container with crushed ice until the vessel is completely full with ice.
- Combine the demerara syrup, lemon juice, Cognac and Royal Combier in a shaker tin. Then, using a second shaker tin, pour the drink back and forth between the two tins to mix all ingredients.
- With the cocktail split between the two shakers, add five mint leaves to each and top with ice.
- Shake and strain the drink to chill, and fine strain over the crushed ice into the Explosion vessel.
- Place another ring of lemon wheels around the upper edge of the vessel. Then, take a small bowl—about four inches across—and pack it very tightly with crushed ice.
- Turn the bowl upside down on top of the crushed ice that is already in the container so that it looks like the cocktail vessel is wearing a hat.
- Remove the bowl and garnish the top of the cocktail with mint sprigs between the lemon wheels and the edge of the vessel.
- Liberally dash the top of the drink with Angostura bitters.
- To serve, fill rocks glasses with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs. Pour the cocktail directly from the spigot.