Rosita

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As you know, I love the classics. But this isn’t one of them. All I can find out is that it might date back to a 1988 edition of Mr. Boston Official Bartender Guide. But no matter. That’s not a bad provenance, and it is a variation on a venerable classic, the Negroni. 
 
It is also absolutely delicious.
 
Compared to a Negroni, the Rosita substitutes tequila for gin, adds dry as well as sweet vermouth, and dials back the bitterness of the Campari. The result is light, but not too light. Bitter, but not too bitter. And it has a hint of smoke from the tequila. 
 
Smooth and luscious, you’ll be tempted to guzzle this one. But take it easy. It’s all alcohol. Sip. Savor. Sip … 

Rosita

  • 1.5 ounces tequila

  • .5 ounce Campari

  • .5 ounce dry vermouth

  • .5 ounce sweet vermouth

Combine the ingredients and stir with ice in a beaker until very cold. Strain into a rocks glass and serve over fresh ice. I like to use one giant cube to keep it cool, but not overly diluted.

Palm Beach Special

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As we transition into spring, the trees are just about ready to leaf out, the birds are chirping again, and a nice transitional cocktail is called for. A Palm Beach Special is just the ticket.
 
This is another time-tested recipe, dating back to the late 1930s, when people like Edsel Ford and Claire Boothe Luce were in Palm Beach for the winter, hanging out at places like Mar-a-Lago (when Marjorie Merriweather Post owned it) and the Breakers. 
 
Like almost-spring – neither hot nor cold, and full of surprises – this one has a layered, bracing flavor – a little tart, quite gin-ny – and a pale blush color. It reminds me of chilly mornings that turn into warm days and turn back into chilly evenings. Perfect!
 
Shake up a few of these, sit on the deck, and bliss out on the coming of springtime.

 Palm Beach Special

  • 2.5 ounces gin

  • .75 grapefruit juice*

  • .5 ounce sweet vermouth

Combine the ingredients, shake until very cold, strain into a cocktail glass, and start sipping.

*About the juice: Any juice you put in a cocktail should be fresh-squeezed. This is an iron-clad rule with lemon and lime juice and highly recommended with orange juice. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice is certainly best, but you can get away with the bottled stuff if you get the all-juice, no-sugar-added, not-from-concentrate kind. That said, finding it on a grocery shelf may be more trouble than squeezing an actual grapefruit yourself. Best to invest in decent electric squeezer and squeeze all your citrus. 

12 Mile Limit

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Deluxe drinking from the depths of Prohibition … 

Here’s another gem from that shameful era when legislators tried to stamp out drinking, only to make it even more seductive, fun, and flavorful than it was before. Silly legislators!
 
This one’s called the 12 Mile Limit because during Prohibition, ships sailing from American ports had to clear the US territorial limit before they could legally serve alcohol. Everyone on board waited for the ship to cross the line and then lined up at the bar. 
 
This is a spicy, potent, sweet-sour concoction. Tasty, but it must be sipped slowly lest one end up sliding off the barstool. There are more ingredients than I generally approval of, but this one is worth the trouble!

12 Mile Limit

  • 1 oz. silver rum

  • 1⁄2 oz. rye whiskey

  • 1⁄2 oz. brandy

  • 1⁄2 oz. grenadine

  • 1⁄2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Combine the ingredients, stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. I like to toss in a single big cube of ice to keep it cool while I sip.

Re: grenadine, you’ll need to get the real stuff, made from pomegranates, not the red sugar syrup you’ll find at the grocery store. Most of your better liquor merchants will carry one or two brands.