The Nonino Spritz, an Aperitivo for the Ages

Nonino Spritz

Serving up the Nonino Spritz

For an Italian-themed special event hosted by Terlato Wines recently, I was asked to create a signature cocktail. The cocktail would be served before dinner, so that got me thinking about a variation on the Aperol Spritz, my favorite summertime sparkler, made with Aperol liqueur, prosecco, and soda, with a slice of orange.

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Settanta Cinque (The French 75 gets an Italian Makeover)

Settante Cinque Cocktail

Last night, some new Parisian friends asked me to make a cocktail–something light and sparkly to refresh us in the balmy summer evening out in coastal Connecticut. My first thought was a French 75, a classic cocktail that I profile in STORIED SIPS, but we didn’t have any fresh lemons. What I did have was pink grapefruit. So I played around a bit, and came up with a fantastic summer sparkler that I’ll be making for the rest of the season.

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The Story Behind the Stork Club Cocktail


The Stork Club Cocktail

© 2013 Poul Lange

In the 1930s and 1940s, everyone who was anyone went to the Stork Club. The New York nightclub and restaurant was a hangout for the country’s elite, from entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball to politicians like Ronald Regan and John F. Kennedy, Jr. On any given night, the “King of Swing” Benny Goodman and his orchestra would be performing, while the club’s patrons canoodled over Champagne, cocktails, and caviar. Read More

The Story Behind the Royal Highball Cocktail

Royal Highball Cocktail from Storied Sips

The Royal Highball Cocktail originated at the bar at The Ritz Hotel in Paris. © 2013 Poul Lange

Since 1898, The Ritz Hotel in Paris has played host to celebrities and royals, from Coco Chanel and Marcel Proust to Cole Porter and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The hotel’s bar has specialized in catering to the whims of a demanding clientele, including King Alfonso XII of Spain, who was a regular in the 1920s. Legend has it that the Royal Highball cocktail was developed by renowned Ritz barman Frank Meier in honor of King Alfonso at the opening of the Ritz bar, in 1921. The festive, yet strong sparkler is made from Cognac, Champagne, and muddled strawberries. Read More

Tasting Notes: Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum


The signature spirit of the Caribbean has a storied history. First as aguardiente de cana (an early form of rum), then in its more refined expressions, the history of rum is inseparable from the history of the Caribbean islands, with its highs (rum ignited island economies) and lows (it also fueled the slave trade). Mount Gay is the grandfather of rum dynasties, at least according to recorded evidence. The Barbados-based brand traces its heritage back to a historical document from 1703. Read More

Going Out? Don’t Forget Your Speakeasy Membership Card

Stork Club Speakeasy card

Actual Stork Club card from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library

In the 1930s and 40s, the Stork Club — owned by the dapper Sherman Billingsley — was the hottest nightclub and restaurant in New York City. So when I clicked on to find photographs of real membership cards to the city’s speakeasies, I nearly fell out of my chair. It’s pretty remarkable that some forward-thinking tippler managed to keep track of his cards and preserve them for posterity. But here they are, part of the rare manuscripts collection at Cornell University. Phew. Read More

The Bronx Cocktail, Updated (Or Rather, Backdated)


Bronx Cocktail

Orange juice, or no juice? That’s the question with a Bronx cocktail.

Orange juice in cocktails has never struck me a particularly appealing. I do adore the Stork Club cocktail, mostly for its vintage New York society flair (the Stork Club was a 1930s and 40s celebrity hotspot). But that’s about where I draw the line. So I was intrigued to stumble across a recipe for the classic New York borough drink, the Bronx Cocktail, that is juice-free, and another that is practically juice-free.

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