Summer cocktails are easy, with their light liquors and freshing, fruit-based mixers. Come winter, it’s time for more warming drinks. Here at The Knick, Assistant Food & Beverage Director Steven Rhea has crafted A Modest Proposal, the ultimate winter cocktail, with soothing, surprising flavors that make the cold melt away from your mind.
“A Modest Proposal is a strange kind of drink,” says Rhea. “The most prominent flavor coming through is caraway seed liqueur—called Kümmel—with grapefruit. Kümmel is made with fennel, cumin and caraway, so it needs a little bitterness for contrast. It’s almost savory in that respect. I pair Teeling Irish Single Grain because it’s so fruity, and the Mesh and Bone Shochu gives a little floral note. The drink ends kind of bitter, juicy and bubbly.”
The cocktail uses a grapefruit cordial (recipe provided below), so be sure to use that instead of grapefruit juice. “It will yield a fuller texture and better results. It’s essentially an oleo sacrum, but a little easier to make,” says Rhea.
A Modest Proposal: The Best Winter Cocktail to Try in 2018
2oz of sparkling wine
Pinch of salt
1.5oz Grapefruit cordial*
.5oz Lemon juice
.5oz Mesh and Bone Shochu (vodka works as a replacement)
.1oz Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey
7 large grapefruits
1 qt sugar
For the grapefruit cordial, peel and juice grapefruit; rest peels in sugar for 24 hours to extract oils from the peel.
After, add sugar to 1qt of grapefruit juice, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. It will be syrupy and sticky, but not too viscous.
For the cocktail:
Pour wine into coupe glass
Mix all remaining ingredients in shaker, and shake thoroughly