By: Anjli Mehta
If you’ve hosted a New Year’s Eve bash before, you know there’s a lot to consider to pull off the perfect party. From crowd-pleasing appetizers to curated playlists, there’s so much to prep. Cut yourself some slack this year and opt for a low-maintenance cocktail that you can whip up in seconds—because less time playing bartender means more time to party.
We enlisted Rob Pate, owner of dinner-and-drinks hotspot Péché, to make your New Year’s Eve cocktail dreams come true. Located on West Fourth Street, Péché is equal parts sultry and serious. They don’t mess around when it comes to their cocktail menu, which includes an inventive line-up of libations, one more sinful than the next. Read on to get the lowdown on Péché’s pre-Prohibition cocktails and of course, the recipe for his Saint 75.
How do you describe “pre-Prohibition” cocktails? What makes this style of cocktail unlike any other?
“Pre-prohibition” cocktails are the original craft cocktails. When Prohibition happened, some of these classic cocktails were lost and it wasn’t until years later that they came back. And they’re especially gaining popularity in the past few years. These cocktails are typically of the gin, whiskey, rum or brandy variety. These cocktails are all about following direction, from the measurement to the best ingredients (these could be really simple ingredients, obscure brands of spirits and fresh garnishes).
What inspires the cocktails on the Péché menu?
Old classics. We believe in sticking to what works and finds that it complements our French comfort cuisine, as well as the warm, inviting vibe we want to give off.
It seems like the revival of old world mixology has brought us some truly interesting cocktails, some of which may sound better than others. Do you think there are certain ingredients to avoid when it comes to mixology, or is it all fair game?
I think the best cooks in the world use flavors that complement, rather than forcing flavors just to show that they can. The same goes with making cocktails. There aren’t specific ingredients I would say to avoid but it’s all about how you use them. A great bartender is a great mixologist. A great mixologist is not always a great bartender.
What’s you favorite timesaving trick when it comes to crafting a quick, yet delicious cocktail?
Three ingredient cocktails are some of my favorite drinks. They’re really simple, yet delicious; and often times, the least complex drinks are the best ones. I suggest keeping a well-stocked bar with the essentials, your favorite brand of each spirit and the essential liqueurs. From there, buying fresh ingredients to perfect the cocktail, whether it’s a fresh juice or a citrus peel are crucial.
Which cocktail feel quintessentially New Year’s Eve to you, and why?
Saint 75 always works for New Year’s Eve. Classic and bubbly. The New Year is a sign of ushering in a new era and the Saint 75 gives off that fun, refreshing vibe.
Péché’s Saint 75 Recipe
1.5 oz gin
Juice of half a lemon
.75 oz St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur
Strain into a martini glass
Fill glass with champagne
Garnish with lemon twist