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Even a rookie bartender can master this reboot

The Ancho Reyes Southside

Since the early aughts, the dawn of the craft cocktail revolution, there’s been much to-do about variations on the Manhattan. Over the years, a number of bartenders swapped one ingredient for another, or added a flourish of fancy amaro, and christened it after a New York City neighborhood (The Red Hook, the Green Point, etc.). But throughout history, riffing on a standard formula wasn’t just a parlor game, it was an evolutionary step forward. Punch, the Colonial era go-to, begat the original cocktail, the Old Fashioned. The daisy — spirit (often brandy), lemon, liquid sweetener, like grenadine, and sometimes fizz — begat the margarita. And in some circles it splintered off and became the sidecar. Just to name a few.

While this evolution is the lingua franca among bartenders and the cocktail cognoscenti, it’s something that Daren Swisher and Joe Cammarata, Boston bar-industry veterans and co-owners of Daiquiries & Daisies, wanted to make a topic of widespread conversation at their bar, a compact cocktail retreat plunked ever-so unassumingly and elegantly in the bustling High Street Place food hall.


You might say evolution is the theme of their cocktail menu, which features institutional classics in one column and a rebooted version of each in the other. On a particularly warm recent day, Swisher recommended the Ancho Reyes Southside, a piquant adaptation of the standard Southside, which is basically a minted gimlet — gin, lime juice, and simple syrup. It’s a recipe simple enough that even a rookie home bartender could figure out a way or two to elaborate on it. The Manhattan can wait.

Ancho Reyes Southside

1½ ounce Ancho Reyes

½ ounce dry vermouth

½ ounce fresh lime juice

½ ounce simple syrup (To make syrup: in a small saucepan over low heat, heat 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar. Stir until integrated. Let cool.)


6-8 mint leaves, including one to garnish. (optional)

1. Pour all ingredients, including mint leaves, into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously 10 seconds.

2. Strain into a coupe.

3. Garnish with mint leaf.

Adapted from Daiquiris & Daisies

Liza Weisstuch can be reached at liza.weisstuch@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @livingtheproof.