The hot toddy is to winter what the bourbon smash is to warmer months. The go-to drink, which is technically a style, is possibly the only cocktail with a name that’s a verb. (I’ll happily eat — errr . . . drink my words if any reader can think of another.) It involves muddling mint leaves, arguably the most critical step, as manipulating the leaves releases their natural oils, imbuing the drink with an especially intense flavor and aroma. At Committee, the sweeping Greek-minded restaurant in the Seaport District, bartender Jay Giordano uses the mint merely as a launching point, piling on other flavors, like herbaceous Yellow Chartreuse, piquant ginger, and zingy grapefruit juice, taking the classic drink on an exotic ride.
SMASH N’ DASH
Makes 1 drink
1½ ounce bourbon
¼ ounce Yellow Chartreuse
½ ounce ginger syrup (to make syrup: peel and slice one small ginger branch. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat ginger slices, 1 cup demerara sugar and one cup water, just until sugar melts)
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce grapefruit juice
4-6 mint leaves
1 piece candied ginger, to garnish. (Optional)
1. Muddle the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker or pint glass. Transfer to a highball glass.
2. Add crushed ice.
3. Build in a highball glass, pouring bourbon, Yellow Chartreuse, ginger syrup, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, in that order.
4. Garnish with candied ginger.
Adapted from Committee