What’s the most creative cocktail you’ve ever had? One of my favorites is from Local Kitchen & Bar, a relatively new restaurant in my hometown of Ferndale, Michigan. It’s a drink made with a combination of whiskey, citrus juices ad simple syrup. Sounds like just a standard cocktail, right?
The real kicker is that there is a “floater” of red wine poured on top. When I first read the description on the menu, it sounded….strange. And I wasn’t sure it was going to be good.
But I ordered it anyway, and it was fantastic. Strong but refreshing, sweet but not too much so, and a balanced combination of flavors. It was like whiskey drinks were always meant to have a little kick of wine!
Because that drink was so memorable, I wanted to figure out a way to approximate it at home. For my adaptation, I took my favorite winter fruit – clementines – and made a (very simple) simple syrup. I swirled that into some whiskey, and added ice and a cherry.
Then came the special part – a floater of Cabernet Sauvignon. Hint: get the wine to float on top of the drink by slowing pouring the wine over a spoon right above the drink.
For the Clementine Simple Syrup:
- 4 clementines, peeled and segmented
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
For the Cocktail:
- 3 ounces Clementine Simple Syrup
- 3 ounces whiskey
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)
- 3 ounces Gallo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, for floating
- Make Clementine Simple Syrup: In medium saucepan, stir together clementines, sugar and water. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on fruit to extract as much liquid as possible. Refrigerate until cool. Makes about 1-1/2 cups simple syrup.
- Fill two rocks glasses with ice; add a few cherries to each glass, if desired. Fill cocktail shaker with ice; add Clementine Simple Syrup, whiskey and lemon juice, and shake well.
- Pour whiskey mixture over ice in glasses. Pour wine floater over top of cocktails by slowly pouring wine over a small spoon set over each glass.