2024-06-19 2:17 PM

Dowd on Drinks: Innovation On The Rocks

In my travels, I continually come across some truly innovative cocktail recipes. Rather than let them go unappreciated by the reading public at large and enjoyed only by the select circle that frequents those cocktail bars or Web sites, here are a few I’d like to share.

Gold Bar, 389 Broome St. near Mulberry, New York. (212) 274-1568.

Honey is for more than hot tea or flapjacks. A daiquiri here is a "Bee’s Kiss" when the usual sugar component is replaced with honey and mixed with rum and lime juice. For a "Margaritas Begone" use honey, tequila and lime juice. And, for a "Gold Rush" whiskey sour, mix honey with bourbon and lemon juice and serve it very well chilled.


Bison Witches Bar & Deli, 326 North 4th Avenue, Tucson, Ariz. (520) 740-1541.

The "BLTini," made by bartender Gary Crystal, turns the classic BLT sandwich into a drink. It begins with a generous pour of potato vodka, an inch or so of Bloody Mary mix, and a garnish of freshly-cooked bacon hanging off the side and a bit of leafy lettuce. He sometimes rubs the rim of the glass with the bacon.



This Australian Web site invites readers to contribute their own cocktail recipes. Valli Little came up with this "Aussie Strawberry Cocktail" recipe to serve eight:


1 lb. hulled strawberries

1 tablespoon fine sugar

Crushed ice (optional)

2/3 cup vodka, chilled

1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled


Place the strawberries and sugar in a blender or food processor and blend or process until mixture forms smooth puree. Pass the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds in the sieve. Cover the puree with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator. Half-fill 8 champagne flutes with the crushed ice, if using.

Divide the chilled strawberry puree among the flutes, then top each with 1 tablespoon vodka. Top up with the sparkling wine. You can make the strawberry puree up to two days ahead.




The "Balsamic Pear Cocktail" is well off the beaten path. It was created by Gwen Kaiser, master mixologist for this Web site.      

2 oz. freshly juiced pear nectar

2 oz. sake

1/2 oz. balsamic syrup

2 drops bitters

Pear slice for garnish

To make balsamic syrup: Simmer 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup balsamic vinegar for 20 minutes. Pour into final storage container, adding approximately 1 oz. vodka to aid in preservation. Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with pear slice.



The "Mint Julep Martini" packs quite a punch. This irreverent Web site’s bartender feature admits "We have a little penchant for brown drinks (i.e., bourbon) and we are sharing this addictive version with you."


3/4 cup Maker’s Mark or other bourbon

1/4 cup vanilla vodka

1 tsp. Triple Sec or Cointreau

1 tsp. peppermint schnapps


Combine all ingredients in a shaker and, well, shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with fresh mint or an orange twist. Sip carefuly, rinse, re-chill or re-glass, repeat.

Note: Emergency glass chilling can be done by filling the glass with crushed ice while you make your luscious, bourbony concoction. Throw ice out, fill glass.


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