The Manual Makes Cocktails With Empire Spirits Vodka


Last week, our resident spirit guide, Sam Slaughter, was invited to the historic Liederkranz in New York City to help craft some cocktails with Empire Spirits Private Club Vodka for their upcoming sponsorship of the Lincoln Center Theater’s 2016 season. Check out his recap on prepping and making the cocktails and working with the brand below, as well as a couple of his recipes.

When I first received the Private Club vodka, I was excited. I’d grown up in the shadow of New York City and this was purported to be the vodka equivalent of the city that never sleeps. It was smooth and subtle upon first taste and I knew that it’d make for some good, Empire State-themed cocktails.

The cocktails had to be simple, but flavorful, while still evoking that exclusive mindset that comes with the best of the best in The City. I started by playing with derivations of classics. The Empire Cosmo is, naturally, a cosmopolitan, but with raspberry as a substitute for the typical cranberry. The raspberry flavor is a little sweeter, a little richer, a little more fitting of the Big City lifestyle. The lemon compliments the raspberry, making it a perfect match of classic and contemporary.

In the end, I met with David Stewart Hudson and Philipp Haberbauer, of Empire Spirits 1792, to test the cocktails at the historic Liederkranz Club, just across the street from Central Park. With the perfectly 1950’s cocktail bar as our backdrop, we crafted the drinks, testing and tweaking until we were satisfied.

What we came up with, again, was a blend of old and new. Simplicity and elegance, ease and class. The drinks all evoke not only the New York City of yesteryear, but the delicious potential of the coming year.

Related: 4 Great Vodka Cocktails

Below, check out some of the cocktails that could show up at a theater near you soon (if you’re in NYC, that is).

The Empire Cosmo

  • 5 oz Private Club Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz raspberry syrup
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Method: Shake together and strain into martini glass.  Garnish with lemon wedge. 

The Executive Breakfast

  • 5 oz Private Club Vodka
  • 1 oz peach nectar
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 2 oz brut champagne
  • .25 oz Chambord
  • Brandied cherry

Method: Shake together vodka, peach nectar, and orange juice. Strain into glass over ice. Top with champagne and float with Chambord. Garnish with brandied cherry.