Ground to Glass ($10)
If there's a drink that captures The Summit Bar's garden-fresh ethos, it's the Ground to Glass, a mix of Corralejo Blanco Tequila, red bell pepper puree, cucumber, fresh lime, housemade orange bitters, and a hickory smoked salt rim. Seider designed the drink to be slightly savory, but without heft: "I always prefer lighter, brighter flavors," he says. "I'm not a fan of the really dense, boozy style."
Though his vision for incorporating red bell peppers into a drink worked on the flavor front, the practicalities of it soon proved challenging. "I started out muddling the red bell pepper fresh, but when this place started getting slammed, we had to re-evaluate every aspect of the drinks," Seider says. "I found that pureeing it and keeping it in a squeeze bottle kept it fresh while getting the flavor in there a little faster. There's already cucumber in the drink, so we had to try and avoid just having a massive salad bar back here for one recipe."
Charmane's Star ($11)
"At every place, I always secretly name a drink after my favorite adult actress," Seider says, smacking a fresh shiso leaf to release its fragrant oils before slipping it in the glass. "In this one, I try to get all of the senses involved in the anticipation, well before you even take a sip. I like all the cocktails have a visual and aromatic aspect."
Despite its bold name, Charmane's Star has subtle, fresh, prismatic green flavors. The drink features Russian Standard vodka, muddled cucumber, fresh lime, Vietnamese cinnamon-infused agave, rhubarb bitters, and a shiso leaf garnish.
The Apology ($11)
"This was inspired by James Bond, and his drink, The Vesper, which was always just a little flat for me," Seider says. "I wanted an aperitif cocktail with serious luxury, so we went with gin, saffron, and an Argentinian Chardonnay that has this Burgundian vibration to it. You could give this to someone if you needed to make amends. This is your 'I'm sorry.'"
To make an Apology, Seider shakes Old Raj 110 gin, Catena Chardonnay, apricot cordial, saffron orange bitters, and a dash of St. Germain, then serves it up, with a chewy, Bourbon-soaked apricot sunk in the cleft of the glass.
John Lee Hooker ($12)
A nod to the famous bluesman, the John Lee Hooker represents Seider's attempt to render a song in a glass. "I was walking down the street and I heard that song, 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.'" And I thought, man, I have to get that all in one drink."
The triple-play of serious spirits and brew combine to form a cocktail that's shockingly bright and light on its feet. Seider starts by misting the glass with Peat Monster Scotch, then combines Buffalo Trace bourbon, fresh lemon, orange and sarsaparilla bitters, topping it all off with Lagunitas Hop Stoopid beer.
"The citrus and bourbon create all of these cool, fresh midtones, and the beer cleans it all out on the finish," Seider says.
The Guv'nor ($12)
While Seider's Asian influences—picked up through travel, cooking shows, and an early love of the Nobu cookbook—show up all over the menu, The Guv'nor is where he really doubles down on the idea.
The drink features Yamazaki 12-year Whisky, toasted cardamom-infused agave, yuzu, and orange juice, shaken and served with a perfect, hand-crafted ice cube.
"The Japanese were the first to do cocktails with this perfect ice, designed to get the temp of a cocktail down without diluting it," Seider says, adding that a shift towards good ice has been the biggest difference in NY's cocktail scene since he got started: "If I'd made these recipes with the ice they had back when I got started, they'd all be slushy messes."
Lions in London, $11
"This is my twist on a Negroni," Seider says, adding that the classic always plays a bit too bitter for his taste. The Summit Bar's version came about thanks to a pal of Seider's in Chicago, who hand-blends teas to order.
"The Rooiboos gives this high, round, floral lift to the drink," he says. Seider achieves the effect by infusing the tea into Spring 44 gin, then finishing the drink with Aperol, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, and Summit's own orange bitters, spiked with cinnamon.