Oftentimes, mixologists are told to do the following: “Make me something.”
Without a starting place, there are so many ways to go, so when the slightest direction is given, a mixologist can concoct a drink to a customer’s liking — or create one for the masses. And sometimes, a star is born, as was the case with a drink dubbed the Whalebone.
“While behind the bar at the newly opened Sandbar in Cold Spring Harbor, I was handed a bottle of Crème de Pamplemousse and tasked with creating a special cocktail for a few friends who were sitting at the bar,” recalls Dan Leopold, bartender at the upscale restaurant showcasing American cuisine dishes from both land and sea — all of which are created by Executive Chef Guy Reuge.
Leopold accepted the challenge, even though he — quite honestly — didn’t see it as one.
“I enjoy mixing different flavors together, so when given a new liqueur I was excited to blend it and see what concoction I could come up with,” Leopold says.
“I believe that mixing cocktails is an art,” he adds. “My art is created by mixing flavors together to create something delicious. My years of experience allow me an instinct on the best ways to showcase a new liqueur or match certain flavors together.”
The cocktail includes Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Crème de Pamplemousse, fresh lemon and lime juices, blood orange purée, simple syrup and club soda.
“The concoction I came up with was an immediate hit with everyone, who believed that it was made with actual grapefruit; however, it is the Crème de Pamplemousse that gives it the citrus and refreshing flavor,” he says. “Thus, the was born.”
To make Whalebone, simply, pour the vodka, simple syrup, Crème de Pamplemousse, lemon and lime juices, blood orange purée, and club soda into a shaker. Shake the ingredients before serving the cocktail over ice.
“It’s a citrus cocktail, more tart than sweet,” he says. “It’s very refreshing and the perfect warm weather cocktail.”
With beach season on the horizon, just such a nautical-themed drink is in order.
Sandbar is located at 55 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor. It can be reached at 631-498-6188, lessings.com