Sample The National's Latest Craft Cocktails
Brian Van Flandern built his international reputation as a mixologist by creating cocktails for renowned chefs including Mario Batali, Thomas Keller and Michel Richard. His latest collaboration with The National’s Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is a natural, as both men are known for sourcing fresh, quality ingredients and combining them in imaginative ways. Van Flandern has not only introduced new recipes to The National’s cocktail menu, he has provided extensive training to the restaurant’s bartenders to ensure each drink is exactingly prepared.
In 2013, Van Flandern published his book, Craft Cocktails. The reviews were glowing, but many noted that preparing these drinks at home requires trekking to specialty shops for the ingredients, a very well-stocked liquor cabinet, and at least some proficiency with bartending. If you’d rather skip the shopping trip for black lava salt or don’t like your odds of making flamed orange peel without setting the kitchen on fire, consider sampling these sexy, smooth and refreshing cocktails at The National:
The National’s Newest Craft Cocktails
This margarita may be iced, but it has plenty of heat. Don Julio Reposado Tequila packs complex flavor and a warm kick. The mescal in this drink (Del Maguey Tobala) is something special too, made only from wild, rare Tobala agave and prepared in extremely small quantities following a traditional production method. A single raw egg white introduces silkiness and a little foam. Garnished with black lava salt.
Blue Blood and Sand
A prohibition-era cocktail named for a Valentino movie naturally evokes a certain romance and nostalgia, but Johnny Walker Blue, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth and blood orange puree make this the ultimate luxury version of the traditional Blood and Sand. Garnished with flamed orange peel.
Tito’s Vodka is remarkably neutral, which makes it ideal for a cocktail that showcases the most delicate and summery of flavors, fresh honeydew melon. Muscato d’Asti compliments the fruit and adds a bit of effervescence.
The Very Last Word
To be the last word in the Last Word, you need to bring together the best versions of the classic ingredients for this drink and measure and mix them perfectly. This combination of fresh lime juice, Tanqueray Gin, Green Chartreuse and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, garnished with Luxardo cherries, is good enough to leave you speechless.
The Hemingway Daiquiri was originally concocted for Ernest Hemingway by his favorite Cuban bartender, and he is alleged to have consumed it early and often. Fresh grapefruit and lime juice and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur create a complex, dry version of the usually super-sweet daiquiri.
The Kentucky Derby may be over, but the refreshing Lexington Derby will be around all summer long. Small batch, big flavor bourbon (Knob Creek), fresh mint and plenty of ice are elevated by the smooth fruitiness and subtle spice of fine cognac. It’s a nod to the days before the Civil War when juleps were made with cognac instead of bourbon.
Two southern favorites – bourbon and peaches – come together beautifully in the Cobbler. Bulleit Bourbon is bold and spicy out of the gate, but the ice and peach puree mellow it into a highly drinkable summer cocktail.