New York: Spotted Pig's Brunch Cocktails as Serious as the Food
We were big fans of the Spotted Pig's brunch (review here), and their brunch cocktails are just as killer. Like the food, there's nothing crazy or twisted about them—the menu mostly consists of classics—but it's awesome ingredients and perfect balance that makes them shine.
The Italian Soda ($12) starts with Bulldog gin sweetened with a cranberry-vanilla syrup and elderflower cordial. Light, refreshing, and not very strong, it gets a nice tartness from the cranberry which balances out the shot of sweet elderflower cordial in it. You look at the bright color and think, whoa, that should probably have a paper umbrella sticking out of it, but it's definitely not as sweet as it looks. The drink's gentle bitterness and bubbles would cut through the salty Roquefort on the burger nicely.
The Salty Dog ($12) mixes house-infused grapefruit vodka with grapefruit juice in a highball with a salted rim. It's red grapefruit juice, so it's not as bitter as you'd expect a Salty Dog to be—it's a good bitter drink for beginners. The salty rim'll make you think twice next time you're sprinkling sugar on your breakfast grapefruit—maybe you should be reaching for the salt instead?
The Spotted Pig's Bloody Mary ($10) is my favorite Bloody Mary in the city. It's got the works: house-infused jalapeño and black pepper vodka, tomato juice, lots of grated horseradish, a celery salt rim, and a few different types of pickles and an olive. It's not as hot as you'd think in a hot-pepper kind of way (the jalapeño is very mild), but there's a good amount of horseradish, and the little pickled carrots are great. Don't forget to lick the rim too.
For our thoughts on the food, read the full review here.