One of the reasons many people enjoy winter cocktails is that the flavors can bring back warm and cozy memories from childhood.
With its hints of apple cider, warm spices, and a buttery, slightly savory finish, Butter Me Up, a craft cocktail devised by Lola, a Mediterranean restaurant on Middle Neck Road in Great Neck, does just that.
“Coming from a home where baking during the holiday season was an everyday affair, I wanted something that was reminiscent of the butter cookies browning in the oven, and warm spices of mulled cider and apple pies,” says Lenny Messina, executive chef at Lola.
It isn’t unusual for Messina to feel a bit of nostalgia when crafting a new cocktail menu for Lola. Typically, when developing a new cocktail, he begins with a primary component, which could be a unique new liquor, a peak season fruit, or a seasonal staple.
“Once we have a primary flavor profile we begin testing ancillary flavors and pairings,” he says, “testing and fine tuning an array of recipes until the cocktail is refined and balanced. Even then, we will continue to make minor edits as the drink progresses on our menu.”
Among Butter Me Up’s core ingredients, one stands out among the rest: butter-washed rum.
“The butter-washed rum adds a savory complexity to the cocktail that we all fell in love with,” Messina says.
Besides the obvious, elements to the butter-washed rum include pumpkin pie spice, star anise, and cinnamon sticks. While the process behind the making of the butter-washed rum takes time, the “result is a rum with subtle flavors of toasted butter,” he says.
To make Butter Me Up, pour the butter-washed rum, amaretto and cider into a shaker tin, add ice and shake. Strain the cocktail into a chilled rocks glass (a cinnamon and sugar rim is optional) after it becomes slightly frothy. Then garnish with a cinnamon stick.
“The Butter Me Up cocktail provides a comforting and familiar presence of apple cider, followed with subtle hints of barrel-aged rum and rounding out with a buttery, nutty and slightly savory finish,” he says.
Lola is located at 113A Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck. It can be reached at 516-466-5666 or restaurantlola.com