Lane adapted this cocktail from an old Playboy bar book. "Simple cocktails are my favorite," he says of the drink, which centers around Armagnac. "Armagnac drinks almost like a whiskey," he says. "It's a rustic spirit, a bit less smooth than a cognac," he says. The Armagnac is balanced with rich, sweet Drambuie liqueur and a little dry sherry. The drink may start out a bit too strong, but will mellow over ice as you sip.
The Devil's Backbone
One of Lane's newer creations, The Devil's Backbone blends smoky, peaty Scotch with a little rye whiskey heat. "Having an entire cocktail made with peated Scotch is really aggressive, it's going to be all you can taste," he says. A little Averna and Gran Classico adds a rich bittersweet edge. "It should drink like a Manhattan with a slightly smoky, bitter finish."
The Bergen Street was developed by Lane Ford at Death and Co. in NYC and was featured on Lolinda's opening menu. "It's a great riff on a citrus-forward gin drink," Chris Lane says. The blend of gin with aquavit, Galliano, and absinthe lends an herbal, anise-like flavor to the drink, but the gin still shines through.
Mulled Spiked Wine
A perfect holiday-time concoction, mulled wine is one of Lane's winter favorites. "There's a bar in Berkeley called the Albatross that makes mulled wine every winter—I find myself making pilgrimages out there just to have a mug," he says. Lane's recipe is adapted from Jerry Thomas, "which makes it about as old school as it gets!" The classic combination of wine, port, sugar, spices, and citrus is elevated with the addition of a shot of rum added to every glass. "I leave that to the discretion of anyone serving it," he says, laughing. "I like rum in just about everything!"
This cool-weather tiki cocktail blends amontillado sherry with aged rum. Developed in collaboration with Brooke Arthur at Wo Hing General Store, this drink balances sweet and dry, with an herbal side from Benedictine and a fruity pineapple punch. "Winter is the perfect time for a tiki drink," says Lane. "It makes you think you're somewhere else!"