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.
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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.
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.
Brandon and Molly met because of a mutual interest in food - or, more specifically, when Brandon read Molly's food blog Orangette and sent her an e-mail that included some very effective compliments. The better part of a decade later, they co-own and run the restaurant Delancey and its sibling Essex, in Seattle. Brandon is the chef of both, and when he's not manning the wood-burning oven, he likes to make things from scratch that more sane people would probably buy, like mustard, vinegars, pretzels, and obscurely flavored liqueurs. Molly is the manager / Organizer of All Things at Delancey and Essex, and she is also the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the forthcoming memoir Delancey. They have a young daughter named June, who is excitedly crawling toward the refrigerator as Molly types this sentence, and two dogs named Jack and Alice.