Editor’s note: In celebration of our Drinks issue, we partnered with Tad Carducci of The Tippler, the popular bar located below Chelsea Market, to create custom, story-inspired cocktails. Below, he shares a liquid homage to our vodka-themed tour of Brighton Beach.
Russian vodka—at least the good stuff—is a model in simplistic perfection. Served cold, it’s crisp, clean and earthy with a luscious, mouth-coating viscosity. It’s a quintessential flavor enhancer for a wide variety of foods, so it’s traditionally consumed straight up. But for those who don’t choose to tipple it plain, we’ve made a vibrant cocktail.
The “Dear Little Scarlet,” which draws its name from the color of the liquid and the rough translation of vodka to “dear little water,” is a bright and earthy libation that lets the vodka be the star. The complementary flavors of beet and strawberry are tied together with just enough honey to take the bite out of the spirit, allowing the vodka to amplify the other ingredients. Grab a few comrades, a big blue tin of little black eggs and shake up a few.
Dear Little Scarlet
Makes 1 drink
2 oz. Russian vodka
¾ oz. beetroot juice (available at natural food markets)
½ oz. honey syrup*
¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
1 ripe strawberry, hulled and quartered
2 dashes orange bitters
Muddle strawberries in a mixing tin. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice in an Old-Fashioned-style glass. Garnish with sliced strawberries.
*To make honey syrup, combine equal parts honey and warm water and stir until dissolved.