The Thirtini was the signature cocktail created with SKYY Vodka for the guests this August at The Thirteen Summer House on Fire Island, NY. This is a one-of-a-kind cocktail creation that uses such varied ingredients as cucumber, lavender and citrus juices to create what we think is the number one tipple of the summer. Cucumber is a great summertime cocktail addition because it’s so refreshing and re-hydrating. I’ve always said, hydration is key when entertaining outdoors so cool your guests off this herbal infusion at your next summer party.
1.5 oz. SKYY Vodka
1.5 oz orange juice
.5 lemon juice
(Santa Cruz lemon juice by the bottle is an acceptable alternative)
6 thinly sliced cucumber wheels
1.5 oz. homemade lavender syrup*
* For the syrup
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of whole lavender flowers
Make the Lavender Syrup in advance:
In a small saucepan combine water the sugar and place it over medium high heat. As soon as the syrup comes to a full boil and the sugar is completely dissolved, add the lavender flowers, push them under the surface with a spoon, and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan and let the herb steep in the sugar water for 30 minutes. Pour the syrup through a fine sieve and press down firmly on the herbs with a back of a spoon to extract any syrup that is held in the leaves. Store in a covered bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Mix all the ingredients together in a shaker and add ice. Shake hard for 30 seconds until the cucumber wheels break up. Strain over fresh cubed ice and garnish with either a thin stick of cucumber or 1 sprig of fresh lavender.
I wanted to create a playful and somewhat macabre cocktail for Bastille Day this year that was a take on a classic French cocktail. Champagne cocktails seemed very fitting especially as we were going over my friend Shalini’s house a Bastille Day dinner party, an admitted Francophile and lover of champagne.
I found my inspiration for the Guillotini in the French 75 cocktail made from gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar. The drink was originally concocted in the Franco-American war by mixing champagne with cognac as it was readily available and the combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm howitzer artillery piece, also called a “75 Cocktail”, or “Soixante Quinze” in French. The gin version was popularized in America at the Stork Club.
5 oz. Brut Champagne
1 oz. Fine Champagne Cognac
Maraschino Cherry w/ juice
Use a tall dramatic champagne flute as it will heighten the spectacle of the presentation. Poor a small amount of the cherry juice and superfine sugar in separate shallow dishes just wide enough to dip the rim of the flute. First dip the rim in the juice then quickly in the sugar and immediately righten the glass. If done properly the sugar will melt in the cherry juice and start to drip down the edge of the glass (this is actually a good thing for this cocktail). You might need to practice once or twice until you achieve the perfect effect. Now carefully pour the cognac into the glass and slowly fill the remainder of the class with champagne. To complete the garnish slice a cherry in half an then almost in quarters leaving the two parts connected at the top. Slip the cherry on the rim and you have a gruesome but delicious French Guillotini. The sweetness of the sugar rim with the bold flavor on the cognac give this cocktail a sweet kick… ‘off with their heads’ and down the hatch.