4 Classic Cocktails with a Local Twist

The ongoing cocktail culture explosion has sparked consumer interest in classic, pre-Prohibition libations. These drinks are the liquid equivalent of comfort food regardless of whether modern bartenders follow traditional recipes or add their own twists. Here are some of our favorite versions from local watering holes.


Aviation (Flagler Steakhouse, The Breakers, Palm Beach)

Here, you’ll find the original version of this 1916 cocktail: gin, maraschino liqueur, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and Crème de Violette—an ingredient unavailable in the United States for many decades. “It has beautiful eye appeal and great flavor,” says Nick Velardo, The Breakers’ vice president of food and beverage. “And the aromatics are amazing: The botanicals from the gin intertwine with the cherry and violet scents. Once guests see it, they want to know what it is and usually order it.” (561-655-6611)


Sazerac (Jové Kitchen & Bar, Four Seasons Resort, Palm Beach)

The Sazerac Bar popularized this drink, which became the official cocktail of New Orleans. The original recipe called for cognac, Peychaud’s Bitters, a sugar cube, and a spritz of absinthe to rinse the glass, but over the years Sazerac Rye has replaced cognac. Nathan Belovitch, mixologist at Jové Kitchen & Bar, adds one ounce of each along with a quarter-ounce of Bénédictine. He also uses lemon and orange zests, stirring them into the drink and then running the oils of a second pair along the rim of the glass. “Our clientele is well traveled,” he says. “Many of them have spent time in New Orleans, and they appreciate a well-made Sazerac.” (561-533-3750)


Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned (Max’s Harvest, Delray Beach)

While the Old Fashioned has been around since the early nineteenth century, the idea of using Bourbon originated at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Bartenders at Max’s Harvest muddle two ounces of whiskey with an orange slice and the guest’s choice of bitters. “My favorite is the chicory-pecan from El Guapo Bitters out of New Orleans,” says general manager Pete Stampone. “Sugarcane, blood orange, and burnt orange also add an interesting dimension to the drink.” Before serving, bartenders add a splash of eco-friendly Vero Water and garnish with a long orange peel or Filthy Black Cherries. (561-381-9970)


Vieux Carré (Sweetwater, Boynton Beach)

Sweetwater’s Sean Iglehart is fond of this cocktail (pronounced view-ka-ray and translated to “old quarter” in French), invented in 1938 by Walter Bergeron, head bartender at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. It consists of equal parts cognac, rye whiskey, and sweet vermouth enhanced with dashes of Angostura and Peychaud’s Bitters and a bar spoon of Bénédictine. “This drink is one of my favorites because it pulls in a lot of different elements and flavors,” Iglehart says. “The rye is spicy, the cognac softens it, and the vermouth adds a nice herbal edge. It’s rare that you find someone who knows the proper way to make it.” (561-509-9277)

Facebook Comments