The New York Sour is a classic, but this particular recipe comes from Kenaniah Bystrom, the bar manager of Essex. To make what is called "rich" simple syrup, combine 2 parts sugar and 1 part water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring regularly, until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and chill thoroughly before using. —MollyandBrandon
1 3/4 ounces
rye whiskey, preferably 90 to 100 proof
freshly squeezed lemon juice
rich simple syrup (see note)
dry red wine, such as Malbec or Syrah
lemon twist, for garnish
Combine the rye, lemon, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake vigorously for 8 to 10 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Hold a spoon upside down over the glass, just above the surface of the drink, and pour the red wine over the back of the spoon into the glass; this way, the wine will trickle gently into the drink and “float” at the top of the glass, rather than sinking. Garnish with a lemon twist.
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.