You'll no longer have to buy a plane ticket to get in on the cocktails at Seattle's Essex: Owners Brandon Pettit and Molly Wizenberg (a.k.a. Orangette) will be sharing their favorite recipes with us, every other week. Drink up, people.
Today: A festive drink only slightly more complicated than opening a bottle of Champagne, just in time for New Year's.
And just like that, it’s the day after Christmas. Maybe you’ve done enough carousing to carry you through to mid-2014? Or maybe you’re like us -- which is to say, already thinking of what you’d like to drink on New Year’s Eve.
Neither of us is into big, raging New Year’s parties, but we both agree that, even if we’re just sitting on the sofa at home, yawning our way to midnight, sparkling wine is a requirement. And if we do happen to opt for something more daring -- like leaving the house; ooh la! -- a sparkling cocktail is a no-brainer.
More: Another drink that's a no-brainer? Molly and Brandon's two-ingredient Nardini Spritz.
This particular sparkling cocktail is one that Essex bar manager Niah Bystrom calls The Resolution. It’s a Sazerac, sort of, only instead of whiskey, the Resolution uses sparkling wine. (So, really, it’s not a Sazerac at all; it just takes its inspiration there.) You start with an absinthe rinse, then add a couple dashes of Peychaud’s bitters and a spoonful of orange liqueur (we like Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curaçao, though you could also use Cointreau or Grand Marnier), and top it up with Champagne or another sparkling wine. It’s a rosy shade of pink and not too strong -- so you can have two, or three, or…! -- and it has a lovely herbal finish from the absinthe rinse. It’s only slightly more complicated than opening a bottle of Champagne, but it feels a lot more festive.
Happy New Year.
Absinthe, for rinsing
Peychaud’s bitters, 2 dashes
Curacao, Triple Sec, or Cointreau, a barspoon or teaspoon
Champagne or sparkling wine, to top up
A lemon twist
Photos by Molly Wizenberg