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Photo Credit: Thomas Arena

Mixed for Manhattan Cocktail Recipes

While working on The New York City Issue of Wine Enthusiast we were inspired by the streets, sights and sounds of Manhattan and the other boroughs at every turn. Each neighborhood in the City has a flavor all its own—these three epic downtown destinations call for cocktails as iconic as they are.

Neighborhood: Meat Packing District

Drink: Absolut Lillet Cosmo

Over brunch or happy hour in the MPD discussing the romantic entanglements of the night before, just like that, this twist on the classic is sure to put the sex in your city. This cocktail riff stays true to the spirit and flavor profile of a Cosmopolitan. But the swap of juice for Lillet Blanc and Savoia aperitif wines brings a bit more body, backbone and ups the sophistication level on this sipper.

Photo Credit: Thomas Arena


2 ounces Absolut

1 ounce Lillet Blanc

¾ ounce Savoia Rosso

½ ounce elderflower liqueur

½ ounce lemon juice

Orange peel, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then strain into coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Neighborhood: South Street Seaport

Drink: Jefferson’s Ocean Bourbon Old Fashioned

A seafaring stranger’s take on one of the OG cocktail recipes, this refined rocks drink speaks to the neighborhood’s history and the ship-to-shore production of the spirit. Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon is produced in very small batches, with the barrels traveling to parts around the globe—the churning of wave action on the boat and the weather conditions contributing character to the process, delivering a gentle whiskey with crême brûlée and vanilla notes. Barrels see an average of 25 ports across 5 continents and cross the equator twice.

Photo Credit: Thomas Arena


2 ounces Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon

1/2 teaspoon demerara sugar

3 dashes Angostura bitters

2–3 drops saline (8:2 water to salt ratio)

Thick-cut orange peel, for garnish

Spoon demerara sugar into a mixing glass and add bitters, stirring to combine. Add Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon, 2–3 drops of saline (of a 20% solution) and fill with ice. Stir 20–30 rotations (about 15 to 30 seconds) to achieve appropriate dilution and chill. Strain into a rocks glass over a large cube and garnish with thick cut orange peel. Go nuts and add a cherry, too, if desired.

Neighborhood: Lower East Side

Drink: Del Maguey Vida Negroni Blanc

This south-of-the-border twist with a French accent on nearby Little Italy’s favorite aperitivo is as delicious as it is hip. The slightly citrus Italicus, a white bitter used here in place of the traditional red, serves to uplift the smokey and floral notes of the Del Maguey Vida. A deceptively boozy but decidedly well-balanced twist on the classic you’ll want to sip all spring and summer.

Photo Credit: Thomas Arena


¾ ounce Del Maguey Vida

¾ ounce Lillet Blanc

¾ ounce Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto

Lime peel, for garnish

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir 20–30 rotations. Strain into a Nick and Nora glass. Express lime over glass and garnish with a lime peel.