Slideshow: SE Staff Picks: Our Favorite Recent Cocktails

Ed's Pick: Bartender's Choice
Ed's Pick: Bartender's Choice "Wussy" Drink
"I don't like the taste of alcohol, so I like my drinks colorful, refreshing, and made with fresh fruit. Think punch, really, really good punch. If this sounds like I'm an umbrella drink man, so be it. If more drinks had umbrellas in them the world would be a better, more peaceful place. This drink I had at Craft a couple of weeks ago was almost too sophisticated for the likes of me, but when I finally got to eat the fresh litchee, all was right in the wussy drink world. The litchee could have had an umbrella stuck through it, but Craft wouldn't be caught dead with a supply of umbrellas behind the bar."—Ed Levine
Carey's Pick: Aperol, Lemon, and Rye
Carey's Pick: Aperol, Lemon, and Rye
"I tend toward brown-spirit, boozy drinks like Old Fashioneds, but sometimes I'm in the mood for something a little more refreshing. I recently asked Behind the Bar columnist Michael Neff for something tart, bitter, refreshing and not at all sweet, and was shaken up something that looks pink and frothy but tastes anything but. Aperol is backed up by a splash of Bonal and a lot of white rye, shaken with egg white and lemon and a tiny bit of simple syrup, whose sweetness wasn't apparent but I'm sure helped soften the edges. Light on the tongue, complex in flavor, it's got the refreshing-but-potent feel of a pisco sour, the bitter-and-liquor feel of a Negroni, and the backbone of white rye, its potency mellowed by other elements so that its flavors really come through. My kind of refreshment, and dangerously drinkable."—Carey Jones
Kenji's Pick: The Lafayette
Kenji's Pick: The Lafayette
"So this cocktail ain't exactly new to the world, but it's new to me, and that's good enough. I've always been a fan of the Manhattan and other straight-up, rye-and-fortified-wine-based drinks. For a while, my go-to was the Red Hook, made with rye, Punt e Mes, and Maraschino liqueur, but after trying the expertly stirred Lafayette at Craft the other night, I may be a convert. Made with rye, equal parts dry vermouth and Dubonnet, and a dash of Angostura bitters, it's an obvious offspring of the Perfect Manhattan, but with more herbal and bitter notes than its sweeter. Either way, it's still got plenty of rye punch to carry you through the night."—Kenji Lopez-Alt
Christine's Pick: Pina Colada
Christine's Pick: Pina Colada
"I'm one of those people who will only drink alcohol if it doesn't taste like alcohol, which usually means it has to be sweet or very very very light on alcohol. Through this job, I've sipped more alcoholic drinks than I have in the previous 12 years of my drinking-age life combined, and I've been pleasantly surprised to find that I can tolerate and even enjoy several cocktails. If you're like me and you would like to be able to order a drink like the rest of the adults you're hanging out with but you don't want to make a "OMG this is disgusting it tastes like cough medicine" face when you take your first sip, you'll love this cocktail - the pina colada from The Trilby. It's sweet, frothy, goes down smooth and will transport you temporarily onto a beach where you're wearing a big floppy hat and watching the sun sparkle on the ocean."—Christine Tsai

Get the recipe here »

Robyn's Pick: Really, Nothing
Robyn's Pick: Really, Nothing
"I shouldn't be in this slideshow, but I work at Serious Eats, sooo ... oh yeah, I don't like alcohol. I have nothing against other people's enjoyment of it, just that my brain's reaction to the flavor of most alcoholic drinks is, "IT BURNS, IT IS BITTER, FIERY POISON, OH GOD WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME? [insert indecipherable blubbering]" Alcohol makes my face screw up into expressions of horror like nothing else can. But I'm open to taking at least one sip of anything my friends tell me to try. At least, when my friends had the disillusioned thought that they could find me a cocktail I'd enjoy—as years went on they realized my taste buds weren't dying off and my alcohol intolerance wasn't going anywhere (I've given it a fair shot, trust me). I still try friends' cocktails once in a while so I can know my enemy. Also, it amuses my friends when they see my reactions."—Robyn Lee

This White Russian does not please me, but I'm glad I gave it a go. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Erin's Pick: Rye Whiskey Manhattan
Erin's Pick: Rye Whiskey Manhattan
"This Manhattan from ABC Kitchen is made with rye whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirits in the Hudson Valley, which I'd happily just drink alone. But the fruity, grainy-sweet qualities blend nicely with the mildly anise-y vermouth and slightly spicy bitters. It's a delightfully smooth sipper, and the garnish is actually almost as good as the drink itself. Sorry, maraschinos, but you've definitely been one-upped by brandy-soaked cherries. They're like a mini cocktail in their own right, ready to be popped in your mouth."—Erin Zimmer