A lot of great things have happened to food and drink this summer. And though the season may be winding down, it has yet to depart. That means we still have some time left to enjoy a sip on a sunny afternoon or a balmy dusk. A recent team-up between Canada’s Inniskillin Icewine and Karin Stanley, accomplished bartender/co-owner of NYC’s cocktail den Dutch Kills, seems intended to ensure that we enjoy them with an added shot of sweet originality.
The result of that collaboration is a set of one-of-a-kind libations spanning the gamut of cocktail tastes. Dusting off and taking on classic recipes from the Old-Fashioned to the Greyhound, they’ve made use of the concentrated sweetness of ice wine to breathe uniqueness and vibrant life into each drink created with a beloved favorite as its basis. The Inni-rita, as one example, is not your mother’s margarita (not unless she also laces hers with Cabernet Franc Icewine, in which case, good on her, clever woman.) The Lady Randolph, served in a martini glass with an orange twist garnish, fancies up the classic Manhattan with Vidal Gold Icewine, making it even more my kinda town that it already was. The Inn & Juice, whose name winks at us in a way that Snoop Dogg Lion would surely lap up, is kissed with Riesling Icewine, forming a stylish distinction between it and the classic Swizzle upon which it is based.
And just like that, having to choose between sugary sips and elevated proof became a bit less of an issue for imbibers everywhere. With these cocktails utilizing the likes of scotch whisky, tequila blanco, cognac, and aged rum in addition to a variety of icewines, you get both. Ladies get sweet drinks that kick. Fellas too manly to order a sugary drink for fear of highballs teeming with paper umbrellas, flowers, or toothpick-skewered fruit chunks that you think will stand out in your masculine grasp like July 4th sparklers, you have nothing to worry about. You do, however have plenty of new drink options. We all do.
That imaginary flavor spreading across your mental taste buds? That’s the taste of finesse. Sweet, icy finesse. With a twist.