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Issue Date: May 2009


Silver Spoons: Drink Orders

James Bond religiously opted for his vodka martini, and Carrie Bradshaw had her cosmopolitan, but would it have killed either of them to switch it up a bit? (Well, maybe for Agent 007.) But it’s less risky for you to stray from your signature drink. Here are a few ideas.
If you like ... a Cosmopolitan
Try ... a French 75
Developed during World War I when French (and later American) flying ace Raoul Lufbery wanted to enjoy his champagne with an extra kick, the French 75 is a refined affair at theBlue Point Grille . Instead of just adding cognac as Lufbery did, Blue Point bartender Darko Marinkovic developed a precise formula with a strong, alluring taste. With the cognac, he mixes Patron Citronge, fresh Meyer lemon (a cross between a lemon and an orange) and Valencia orange juice. The citrus taste is reminiscent of a classic cosmo. It is shaken then topped with champagne. No wonder its moniker was inspired by a tank-killing piece of military artillery. “It was named the French 75 because it is said to have the kick of a 75mm Howitzer,” Marinkovic says.700 W. St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, (216) 875-7827

If you like ... a Manhattan
Try ... an Aviation
We’re going to make a recommendation, but you should ask Velvet Tango Room owner Paulius Nasvytis yourself what drink is best suited for you. Based on a series of questions (What do you take in your coffee? Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?), he’ll know exactly what kind of vintage cocktail fits your palate. For those who fancy the simple Manhattan that doesn’t abandon its base liquor taste, you’ll love the dry gin libation of an Aviation. His words: “It’s made with fresh lemon and Luxardo, an Italian cherry liqueur. It’s bracing. It’s almost like you get a bee sting on your lips when you first taste it. It’s as crisp and clear as a dark blue sky in June. The flavor profile is full and long.” Two, please.2095 Columbus Road, Cleveland, (216) 241-8869

If you like ... a Mojito
Try ... a Caipirinha
The little glass is anything but intimidating. It looks dainty. But don’t be so quick to raise your pinky and take a sip. The caipirinha, with its cachaca base, packs a heck of a punch. Sergio Abramof, owner of Sergio’s in University Circle, likens it to Brazilian moonshine. Served with fresh, muddled limes and sugar, the drink sports the taste of rum, vodka and tequila — not any of them singularly, but with elements of each. “Stir it while you drink it. That’s how it tastes best,” Abramof advises. Even though there’s no mint, the remaining flavors will remind you of the citrusy, strong taste of a properly made mojito.1903 Ford Drive, Cleveland, (216) 231-1234

If you like ... a Black Martini
Try ... The Pier W
You will order this Pier W cocktail for its look as much as its taste. It is showy and impressive. Served in a flute, the recipe is simple: vodka topped with champagne with a splash of Chambord, a raspberry liqueur. The Chambord dances to the bottom of the flute, leaving a twist of confetti curls. Bar manager Maribeth Barabas says it’s a popular choice. “It is really cold and refreshing with a hint of raspberry. The champagne adds some effervescence.”12700 Lake Road, Lakewood, (216) 228-2250

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