We asked our friend Adam Delaney, bar manager at Tradition in San Francisco, to lay out a few custom drinks he'll be making specially this Valentine's weekend. He delivered with recipes for the Jack Rose, After Dark and Two Fourteen, three tasty libations we'll be drinking tonight.
2 oz. Laird's Apple Brandy
3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Grenadine
Shaken. Fine Strained into chilled Coupe.
You could call the Jack Rose almost the original Appletini, but with more character and balance. The grenadine can be purchased by a company called "Small Hand Foods" they make some awesome products. Or make it at home with POM wonderful and sugar boiled down to a syrup. Though a very simple cocktail, it is surprisingly nice. The babes love it.
1 1/2 oz. Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
2 dashes Chocolate Bitters
Build in chilled Champagne Flute
Orange twist to garnish
After Dark is one of my own creations — I wanted to make a drink that brings two things we think about on V-day; Champagne and Chocolate. I like this drink because it's easy to drink and makes you want to things with someone after you've had seven probably.
This cocktail is "built" in the glass its being served in, as apposed to being shaken or stirred then poured out into another vessel. Many of these ingredients can be easily found at the local supermarket, however the chocolate bitters are more of a specialty item found at somewhere like Barkeeper. Cassis is fruity liqueur made from black currant berries and pairs really well with champagne or any dry sparkling white wine. The Lillet Blanc is a french white wine aperitif and acts as the base spirit to this lighter, refreshing cocktail.
2 oz. 100 proof Bourbon
1/4 oz. Maple Syrup
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
2 dashes Orange Bitter's
Stir. Pour into Rocks glass w/ Large piece of ice.
Lemon Twist to garnish
The "Two Fourteen" is another drink of mine and offers a similar experience as an old fashioned but with a little spin. I was wasted by the time I came up with this one. I hope its as amazing as I thought it was...
I like to use Old Forester 100 proof Bourbon for this one, but use you favorite bourbon by all means. The maple syrup is cut with a bit of water before hand so it becomes less viscous and becomes easier to mix well into the cocktail. Get your hand on some Benedictine. It's used in many classics and there's no substitute for this unique French spiced liqueur. Same goes for both styles of bitters listed above.