In David’s case, she created this place of belonging. Nitecap’s vision came at a time when all cocktail bars were very serious and male-dominated, aka “the heyday of mustaches, suspenders and jazz music”, as she puts it. What his team envisioned was a much more welcoming and open place where not only anyone could work, but also somewhere anyone could drink.
The menu felt more relaxed than its cocktail counterparts at the time, with plenty of options for shot and beer pairings, concoctions in slushie machines, and a constant rotation of spritzes. The clientele is just as relaxed, representing all walks of life and the bar shies away from snobbery.
That same playful and welcoming sensibility is woven throughout Drink lightlyand embodied in her recipe for a Bamboozicle – a sherry, vermouth, and fruit slushie topped with edible sprinkles she affectionately calls “disco dust.”
“We always had a classic Bamboo cocktail on tap, and putting it in the slushie maker was one of the most Nitecap things we could have done,” she says. “That’s how I think about cocktails, adding a fun, unexpected element that may seem silly, but tastes really good. I like drinks to have a sense of humor, and disco dust is the final wink at the end.
The drink combines amontillado sherry, white and dry vermouth, orange juice, strawberry puree, banana rum and simple syrup. For the home bartender, David offers a recipe that calls for a blender instead of a slush machine. She also advises using more simple syrup than you think you’ll need, as the ice eventually mellows out the flavors.
“You’re adding more sugar than you normally would to a drink, because all that ice mixing things together confuses the flavors and the sweetness helps bring out the flavors,” says David. “Sugar makes things taste better. If you put sugar on the strawberries and let them macerate, it accentuates this strawberry taste. Raising the sugar content of frozen drinks helps make everything stand out. »
No matter what cocktail you decide to make Drink lightlyDavid hopes this will open readers up to new ingredients and innovative ways to use things like sherry, vermouth and aquavit.
“You might have to call five different liquor stores to find some of these ingredients, but the more you buy, the more stores there will be,” she says. “The goal is to show that there is so much more to drinking low ABV than just adding sparkling water. The goal is to make this world more inclusive and give more people a place to Table.