Beyond the punch bowl
The summer's latest group-friendly drinks come in pitchers, carafes and cocktail shakers.
Fri Jul 15 2011
Photograph: Arthur Greenberg
Broken Mirror skyscraper at Elsa
Broken Mirror skyscraper at Elsa
This refreshing sipper—its absinthe base lightened with ice and soda water—is the perfect gateway drink for Green Fairy neophytes. Muddled mint and Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Dandelion & Burdock bitters (a sharp, vegetal elixir made in Scotland) boost the herbal notes of Pernod absinthe. Lime adds zip, and slow-melting Kold-Draft ice cubes keep the whole thing fresh in a six-serving Art Deco shaker. The oversize vessel, known as a skyscraper, is transported to the table on a silver tray, along with glasses of pea-shaped ice, garnished with paper-thin slices of cucumber and accompanied by bottles of bubbly water for topping off your share. 217 E 3rd St between Aves B and C (917-882-7395). Six servings $60.
Bottled Old Fashioned at Rye
Serious boozehounds can gather round a bottle of this time-honored tipple without raising a hand for a second round. Barkeep Sother Teague multiplies his single-serving version by six: He muddles Angostura bitters, along with orange varieties from both Fee Brothers and Regans', with demerara sugar and adds a healthy pour of Old Overholt rye whiskey. The mixture—accompanied by as many glasses as requested—stays chilled in a frosty bottle. 247 South 1st St between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-8047). 375ml $55.
Radler at Vandaag
Head bartender Katie Stipe gives the classic pitcher of beer a sophisticated update with this shandy variation, fine-tuned for an afternoon drinking session. The signature suds cocktail originally appeared on the menu as a single-portion drink, but it proved such a party-fueling hit that the owners decided to debut a supersized version. Sherry-oak-aged Linie aquavit, with hints of caraway and herbs, is infused with fresh pineapple chunks for five to seven days. The spirit-and-tropical-fruit concoction lends body to floral Blanche de Bruxelles witbier, lime juice provides the acid, and ginger syrup gives the refreshing quaff a spicy backbone. 103 Second Ave at 6th St (212-253-0470). 48oz $35.
Fertility Goddess vintage shaker at 1534
Take over one of the U-shaped black-leather banquettes and enjoy a shareable cocktail at this subterranean drinks den. You can choose from three sizes: small (served in a teakettle), medium (a vintage shaker) and large (a punch bowl). We prefer the handsome antique shaker, served with glass teacups and filled with the coffee-spiked Fertility Goddess. Punchy reposado tequila melds with rich East India sherry and java-infused Galliano Ristretto. Citrus notes from orange liqueur and lemon juice and the herbaceousness of Bndictine round out the dry concoction, which stays balanced to the last drop, thanks to large ice cubes that keep it cold with minimal dilution. 20 Prince St between Elizabeth and Mott Sts (212-966-5073). Teakettle (serves 2 or 3) $35; vintage shaker (serves 4--6) $65; punch bowl (serves 10-plus) $130.
Norwegian Wood carafe at Bobo
Sunny West Village charmer Bobo offers all seven of its brunch cocktails in four-serving glass carafes. Our favorite is the Norwegian Wood, which features the tried-and-true combination of cucumber-forward Hendrick's Gin with muddled slices of the vegetable. The drink gets a triple dose of lemon via fizzy Fever-Tree soda, citrusy Bitter Truth bitters and an aromatic syrup infused with the fruit's zest plus piney rosemary. 181 W 10th St at Seventh Ave South (212-488-2626). Brunch only. 16oz $25.