What gin joint would be complete without a fitting homage to this chameleon of a classic? Shapiro says Scofflaw's cocktail menu will always feature one Martini iteration or another, illustrating what a prolific shape-shifter the drink has been throughout cocktail history. A Martinez held the spot when Scofflaw opened its doors for the first time, back in March; now, a dry Martini has taken up residence. Shapiro's dry Martini features three parts to one Martin Miller's Gin and Dolin Dry Vermouth, plus Regan's Orange Bitters and a lemon coin. It's revelatory—bracing, floral, unctuous, fragrant.
Basil Bramble ($8)
All we have here is Plymouth Gin, lemon, a float of Combier Crème de Mûre, a single basil leaf, and crushed ice. But the simple combination proves sublimely refreshing. Shapiro drew inspiration for this drink from the work of famous London bartender Dick Bradsell, who popularized the bramble a couple of decades ago. The Crème de Mûre, a French liqueur made from blackberries, couldn't match up better with the flavors of lemon and aroma of fresh basil.
Rocket Frost ($8)
Small's Gin, from Oregon's Ransom Spirits; Schladerer Pear Brandy, from Germany; lime; grenadine; and a measure of organic egg white shake together to make this luscious twist on a Pink Lady. Shapiro notes that Ransom uses local Oregon raspberries in the mash for its Small's Gin, which he thought would work well alongside fresh grenadine. To finish the Rocket Frost, Shapiro adds a few drops of bitters—which is less for flavor than aroma; the bitters offset the "wet dog's nose" smell typical of egg white cocktails.
St. Charles ($8)
Named for the Missouri hometown of two of Shapiro's close friends, the St. Charles is a subtle play on the elements of a classic Sazerac. Jasmine tea-infused Death's Door Gin takes the lead, backed up by apricot liqueur, Peychaud's Bitters, and a rinse of 100-proof Kübler Absinthe. Thanks to the botanical profile of the Death's Door Gin (which favors fennel, coriander, and juniper), the bitters, and the absinthe, Shapiro says, the St. Charles offers a three-part exploration of anise.
Soon to join the list of Scofflaw cocktails, the Apropos is a variation on a traditional gimlet that features the highly mixable Martin Miller's Gin. Marie Brizard Apricot Brandy and lemon juice complete the picture. Light and just slightly tart, the Apropos is Shapiro's hint toward what's in store at Scofflaw during the warmer months to come.