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Disco-Era Cocktails Are Groovy Again

on 24/02/14 at 11:30 am

Booze News

These vintage drinks will have you singing, ‘I Will Imbibe’.

indexARE 1970S-STYLE cocktails replacing tiki drinks as the guilty pleasure du jour? A growing number of bars and restaurants are indeed offering revamped editions of post-Watergate libations. Unlike the austerely bitter tipples favored in recent years by the neo-speakeasy set, these throwbacks skew sweet, fruity, even creamy.

One of 2013’s splashiest openings was New York’s Golden Cadillac, with its stylized orange, brown and chrome décor straight out of an old “Rhoda” episode. Here, the much-maligned Harvey Wallbanger has gotten a molecular mixology makeover. The old-school version entails smothering vodka and orange juice with a sticky-sweet float of Galliano liqueur. Golden Cadillac’s version, engineered by bartender Don Lee, uses specialty enzymes to create super-smooth “clarified orange juice,” dressed up with orange bitters and just enough Galliano to add familiar vanilla flavor. “It’s updated to be acceptable to the modern palate,” explained Greg Boehm, owner of Golden Cadillac as well as the publishing imprint and bar-supply retailer Cocktail Kingdom.

Naren Young, now beverage director at New York’s Empellón, developed a take on the Grasshopper, that minty darling of the Hustle set, at Saxon + Parole when he tended bar there. “If made well, the disco drinks can be awesome,” Mr. Young said.