Grand Street

Recently, Tracy and I were on vacation in NYC and we went to Death and Company. It was a night to remember, and one of the fabulous cocktails I had was called a Grand Street. I knew as soon as I saw it on the menu that I had to order it. Gin, Punt e Mes, Cynar and maraschino—a whole lot of my favorite things all in one glass. But as the night wore on, and more drinks were ordered and relished, I forgot to ask about proportions. This is especially sad because after all, I was sitting at the bar, chatting with the bartender, and she was really nice. So now weeks later, I am home, wishing I could have a Grand Street. And the search begins.

Well, let me tell you, dear reader, the recipe is not on the Internet—I checked. I could throw my hands up and say, oh well and move onto something that would be reminiscent, like a Hoskins or a Fin de Siecle. So I thought to myself, I have all of the ingredients, why not try to figure it out . . . it might even be fun. Staring at the ingredient list, I began looking for any similarities with the classic cocktails I am familiar with. A lot of contemporary cocktails start as riffs on classics. And lo and behold a lightbulb went off, I saw spirit, vermouth, amaro, and liqueur. You see, my favorite cocktail is the Brooklyn: rye, dry vermouth, amer picon, maraschino. I at least had a place to start.

Brooklyn Cocktail (adapted) 

2 ounces rye
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
1/4 Amer Boudreau
1/4 ounce maraschino

Stir ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

So here is what I came up with for my interpretation of the Grand Street:

Drink Inspired by the Grand Street

2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce Punt e Mes
1/4 ounce Cynar
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur

Stir ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Notes on ingredients/method: I used Bellringer gin, though any London dry would work.  Plymouth would also work well. I used the Maraska maraschino as that is what I had on hand.

The grapefruit was very strong in the aroma, as it should be with all of those oils glittering on the surface. Underneath, I could just make out the bittersweet fragrance of the Cynar and the Punt e Mes.  With the grapefruit still lingering in my nose, I dove in to find, in addition to the grapefruit, the dry juniper flavors of the gin mingling with the richness of the Cynar and Punt e Mes. There were definitely a lot of herbal elements floating around in there. The strength of the other ingredients tempered the funky cherry sweetness of the maraschino and rounded out the flavors. The bittersweet flavors of the herbs and the dryness of the gin lingered long after each swallow. In combination, the slightly bitter sweet vermouth, the slight sweet amaro, the dry gin and sweet maraschino all seemed to balance one another in a very complex way. The grapefruit twist provides just enough brightness, to the eye, nose and mouth,  to make drink really sing. 

Now, I am not quite sure that I have re-created the Grand Street as it is at Death and Company. But I am happy to have created something very nice that was inspired by something equally very nice.