Extended Jubilee: Three Rather Brilliant Gin Cocktail Recipes From NYC’s Valerie
It represented perhaps the ultimate postmodern philosophical paradox, that as the 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee (granted, mostly from the sidelines), it wasn’t really unreasonable to suggest that she might now actually be cooler than both the one-time royal provocateur John(ny Rotten) Lydon and his royal grumpiness Steven Patrick Morrissey combined. We’re good with that, though – as given the choice we’d honestly much rather be taking tea with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace, than downing a pint with The Moz and his bad politics at whatever his current favored poshie Kensington pub.
But since we’re actually in New York, what we’re most likely to find ourselves doing in order to satisfy our Jubilee-revved Anglophilia, is pulling up barstool at Valerie, a very stylish, gin-focused destination that is far more glamorous than its Midtown location could ever suggest. Indeed, somewhat equidistant from Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Grand Central, its 45 W. 45th Street address is a bit of a distance from the epicurean glam of, say, MePa or the West Village.
Yet with its intricately patterned flooring, gorgeously leather-lined ceilings, dramatically backlit bar, and grand staircase leading upstairs to its more intimate Blushing Bar, Valerie’s dazzle factor is veritably unmatched by any of its below-14th-Street contemporaries.
Still, its greatest draw, especially for those who live for an expertly prepared G&T, is the 40 different international brands of gin on offer, from Japan’s Nikka Coffey, to Argentina’s Principe de los Apostoles, to Ferdinand’s Saar, which originates from the Moselle wine region, where Germany meets France and Luxembourg. Yet drinking the “Mother’s Ruin” always makes us think of Merry Old…especially as it’s been our tipple of choice as the British Royals have been grabbing so much of our screen time over the last couple of weeks.
And so with four seasons of episodes of The Crown once again cued up on Netflix, we asked the drinks alchemists at Valerie to grace us with a few of their most Anglophilic cocktail recipes, for the perfect at-home accompaniment. Nevertheless, we strenuously recommend pulling up one of its plush leather barstools in early evening, and enjoying them each in their proper surrounds.
Tea with the Queen (pictured top)
½ oz English Breakfast/Bergamot infused Fords Officer Reserve
½ oz Nadar Gin
¾ oz Luxardo Bitter Bianco
¾ oz Punt e Mes
¾ oz Fresh Orange Juice
Glassware: Frosted Tea Mug w/saucer
Garnish: Orange Twist
Directions: Add all ingredients to a small tin, fill with ice and shake. Double strain into mug.
1 ½ oz Glendalough Wild Botanical GIn
2 dash Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters
4 drops Blood Orange Tincture
Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic
Garnish: 4 lime wheels & thyme Sprig
Directions: Add gin, tincture, and bitters to a goblet filled with ice. Pour 6oz of tonic and serve.
1.5 oz Empress 1908 Gin
.75 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
.75 oz Salers Aperitif
2 dash Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters
Glassware: Double Rocks Glass w/Ice
Garnish: Grapefruit Twist
Directions: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, fill with ice. Stir until properly diluted. Strain into glass over fresh ice.