The Main Line’s cocktail culture reached new levels in 2013, with up-and-coming, vigorous mixologists making their appearances with reinvented classics and creative industry-changers. With our love for suburban drinks running marrow-deep, we’re roll-calling our top six favorites as the year comes to a close.
The Peppercorn — Cocktail-crafting virtuoso Aaron Kavulich at Wayne’s Peppercorn dreamed up a sultry margarita to be thrown on the pedestal as the former Georges’ spot’s signature sip. The namesake drink arrives as with a base of Tequila Reposado that deliciously mingles with a house-made black peppercorn syrup and fresh lime. The heat’s subtle, yet memorable—which is always the best kind.
Holiday Manhattan — Nectar’s beverage manager Scott Zoccolillo is spicing up the pan-Asian restaurant’s cocktail menu just as we finish off 2013, scheming up a reinvented manhattan that all bourbon lovers must sip—stat. The stiff drink starts with a generous foundation of Woodford Reserve that’s been aged on-site in oak for three months. Rose hips, cinnamon, fresh cranberries and sprigs of rosemary are added to the sepia delight, which playfully lingers with floral and oak notes.
Black Manhattan — The beverage team backing the bar program of Villanova’s Avenue Kitchen is on the same imbibing wavelength, cheekily putting their own enticing touch on the iconic manhattan. Here, order up the bold rendition that’s built on a dose of Crown Royal Black splashed with sweet vermouth and punchy fig bitters.
Solstice — Wayne’s Paramour is slinging the ‘Line’s sweetheart of cocktails, one that marries a tangy blend of tequila, Frangelico and apple schnapps with fresh grapefruit juice. The dainty apple slice finish is the icing on the cake, and being that it’s so well-balanced that we suspect you’ll be ordering more than one.
Farmer’s Daughter — Malvern’s Restaurant Alba elevates winter’s best PG drink—cider, of course—with simple additions of Art in the Age’s SNAP, rye whiskey, and a mastered blend of fall spices (cinnamon included). It’s a seasonal cocktail at its finest—get it while the cider’s fresh pressed.
Vermiglio — Ambler’s Lucky Well is the spot to order up a sharp whiskey cocktail. While we love them all (don’t skip the Rosey!), we’re currently swooning over one signature sip that goes off the whiskey grid. This rare wine-infused beauty is composed of an even medley of Campari, Sauvignon Blanc, St. Germain and house-made sour mix. Tart and sweet, yet still delightfully sharp, this fruity juice goes down easy when gnawing on the chef’s St. Louis-style pork ribs.
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