Mixologists Gear Up for Island Tasting

Pulse’s Island Tasting charity event is offering an array of delectable dishes to sample. For VIP guests, the experience goes even further with exclusive access to mixologists across the Island who will be pouring some of their signature cocktails starting at 5:30pm on Nov. 17 at Coindre Hall. Here’s a peek at what some of the Island’s best drink-crafters are planning.

Related Content: Get Your Ticket to Taste at Pulse’s Island Tasting

Spiro’s Restaurant & Lounge, Rocky Point

cocktail at Spiro's Lounge & RestaurantMixologists: Jay Ozdemir and Kemal Uruk
Cocktail: Figs & Kisses

2 fresh strawberries
1 piece of fresh ginger
¾ oz Bacardi Dragon Berry rum
2oz Figenza fig-flavored vodka
4oz Champagne

Muddle the strawberries and ginger in a cocktail shaker. Add all the ingredients, then add ice and shake until it turns a light pink color and is chilled. Double strain into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with half of a strawberry.

The drink was Ozdemir’s idea. “I wanted to come up with a drink that you can have in any season, and I think strawberry and Champagne are the perfect mix for that. Also, it’s light and refreshing with a little kick of fig vodka. This way, you can start or end your night with this cocktail. It’s one of those cocktails with pink color and bubbles that you’ll get your cell phone out to take a picture and won’t need a reason to start celebrating.” Ozdemir spills details on the inspiration for Figs & Kisses in Behind the Bartender, plus some of his favorite entertainment choices.

Honu Kitchen & Cocktails, Huntington

Island Tasting

Vanilla and Chocolate Manhattan at Honu Kitchen Cocktails in Huntington. image: honu.

Mixologist: Thomas Nocella
Cocktail: Vanilla and Chocolate Manhattan

2oz Crown Royal vanilla whiskey
⅔ oz Carpano Punt e Mes vermouth
¼ oz Carpano Bianco vermouth
2 dashes chocolate bitters
1 cacao-infused dark cherry

Nocella said he’s big on the classic cocktails like Manhattans and negronis, but loves to put modern spins on them. This drink was inspired by the beloved black-and-white cookie. “I like to take a classic and spin it just enough to make it unique and unseen before, but yet unrelatable and approachable for the consumer,” he said. This recipe combination, topped by a cherry garnish that’s been reduced in a saucepan and infused with cacao, hits the mark.

Swallow, Huntington

Island Tasting

The mezcal-centric Smoke Show at Swallow in Huntington. image: swallow.

Mixologist: Derek Nielsen
Cocktail: Smoke Show

Combining mezcal, Ancho Reyes Chile liqueur, agave, salt, candied coriander, a touch of orange peel and garnished with lime, this drink becomes a show-stopper with an infusion of apple wood smoke.

Tellers Chophouse, Islip
Mixologist: John Nicoletti
Cocktail: Papillion

1 ½ oz Wenneker Elderflower gin
1oz St. Germain
1oz fresh pink grapefruit juice
½ oz Rosemary Simple Syrup
2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Nicoletti, a 16-year restaurant industry veteran, said this cocktail embodies some of his favorite cold-weather flavors … “the deepness of the citrus with grapefruit, the piney note of rosemary. Tie together the even floral flavors of the gin and St. Germain, and the tart spice of the lemon pepper round off this fun cocktail.”

carl corry

Carl Corry is an associate editor at Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email carl@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @carlcorry