As part of our partnership with Absolut Crafted with Love, I asked my friend, master mixologist, Andre Levon Barnhill, to create three original cocktail recipes using Absolut vodka – a legend in the industry and a spirit of the highest quality.
Check out the first part of the series, a conversation with Dre about the craft of making cocktails, right here.
Here are Dre’s three original recipes along with his commentary on each drink. As you’ll see, each drink relies on a homemade syrup. These are easy to make and go a long way to enhancing the quality of each individual cocktail.
The Serpent and the Sun
The Serpent and the Sun was my ode to the last bit of warm weather we were having here on the East Coast. It’s a floral riff on a sour that is meant to be intense, refreshing and reminiscent of that odd time as the summer ends and autumn begins. I’ve always loved the symbolism and worship of the sun by people throughout history as a creative and divine life-giving force. The clove chamomile syrup is an ingredient to make at home and makes a big impact on the quality and craft aspect of the cocktail.
1 oz. Absolut Vodka
.75 oz. St. Germaine
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Montenegro Amaro
.5 oz. Clove Chamomile Syrup (2:1)
1 Egg White
Combine the vodka, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, amaro, clove/chamomile syrup and egg white in a mixing glass. Dry shake to emulsify the egg. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled coupe and add a few dashes of bitters on the foam.
This drink is playful and simple. When I got the idea for this bright green, full and opaque drink, I was plenty stoked to make it a reality. The drink itself is an awesome combination of two things: tropical fruit and smoke. It makes me feel like I’m at an island barbeque. Like the clove camomile syrup in The Serpent and the Sun, how the kiwi syrup plays with the vodka and mezcal takes the quality of the drink over the top.
1 oz. Alipus St. Ana Mezcal
.75 oz. Absolut Vodka
3 oz. Kiwi Syrup
.75 oz. Lime Juice
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Combine the mezcal, vodka, kiwi syrup, lime juice and bitters in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a double old fashioned glass over ice cubes. Garnish with a lime twist.
I feel like everyone has some version of a Moscow Mule and, sure, everyone should have a crack at their own version of maybe the most popular classic in contemporary drink culture. I wanted it to emphasize all the refreshing, sort of breathe-a-cold-deep-breathe-type feelings that a Moscow Mule and ginger, in general, can provide.
I didn’t want to add mint or eucalyptus, so I thought seasonally – as per usual, context is key. We’re hitting a time and season where baking spices and huge – and that deep, aromatic scent was in my mind. Cardamom provides that passage-clearing sort of inhale.
The drink isn’t that different than a lot of mules. However, the ginger cardamon syrup adds a pop of intensity and ribbons of lime on the nose nicely meld the bouquet and, once again, elevates the profile of an already quality cocktail.
1.75 oz. Absolut Vodka
1 oz. Ginger Cardamom Syrup (1:1)
.5 oz. Lime Juice
Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
Lime Peel & Zest
Combine the vodka, ginger cardamom syrup and lime juice in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into a copper mug filled with ice. Top with with the ginger beer and garnish with a lime peel and a bit of lime zest.
Thanks for reading and cheers!
He Spoke Style