DRINK OF THE WEEK: Sly’s The Queens Cocktail


Manhattan has its cocktail, although it may be named after a bar in New York, not the borough. The Bronx has a cocktail, and its infamy is tied to Bill Wilson, whose Bronx binge led to alcoholism and much later Alcoholics Anonymous. And then there’s the Long Island Iced Tea, one of the stronger drinks out there. The Brooklyn cocktail exists, but is as rare as finding a cheap place to rent there, and is like a Manhattan except for Maraschino liqueur used instead of vermouth. However, Staten Island … sorry dudes, you get nothing.

Which leaves us with Queens, which is probably where your hip friend is living now after the big dreams of living in Manhattan fell apart and Williamsburg was too trendy. We learned all about the Queens cocktail when we stopped by Sly’s in Carpinteria the other day. It had been a hot one, and we’d been stuck in traffic coming up from Ventura. It was time for some libations, and the Queens was just what we wanted.

Related to the Bronx, it uses gin. Bartender Jack Chinn, with advice from mixologist and history buff Mandy Huffaker-Chinn, set about making us this drink, using Gordon’s gin, an equal mix of vermouths, and muddled pineapple. It’s the fruit that gives the cocktail its smooth mouthfeel, frothy head and bright color. It’s our Drink of the Week — and our second favorite borough!

1 (2-inch) chunk fresh pineapple
2 ounces Gordon’s gin
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce dry vermouth

Muddle pineapple in shaker. Add gin and vermouths, then ice. Shake and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry and an extra chunk of fresh pineapple.

Yield: 1 drink

686 Linden Ave., Carpinteria 684-6666 or www.slysonline.com

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