Ask a bartender to make you his favorite contemporary classic cocktail and there's a good chance you'll get a Red Hook (Enzo Errico's superb Punt e Mes Manhattan variation), a Penicillin (Sam Ross' ingenious scotch sour), or a Oaxaca Old Fashioned (Phil Ward's brilliant mezcal-based spin on the grandfather of cocktails). He might also set down in front of you a sweating rocks glass containing an Art of Choke cocktail.
The Art of Choke was created by Kyle Davidson at Chicago's Violet Hour. It's a revolutionary cocktail—and not only because it breaks one of mixology's cardinal rules (don't stir drinks containing citrus). It melds two fundamental cocktail formulas seamlessly: Remove the Cynar (an artichoke-based liqueur) and you've got a delicious daiquiri variation. Alternately, take out the lime juice and it's an intriguing rum-based Old-Fashioned. It should be impossible. But put it all together and you've got an unprecedented and exciting drink, one that evolves on your tongue seemingly for minutes, a mojito with the kick of a Manhattan. By the time you've had your fill of them, it'll be winter all over again.
The Art of Choke:
1 ounce white rum
1 ounce Cynar
1/8 ounce fresh lime juice
1/8 ounce rich demerara-sugar syrup (2:1)
1/4 ounce green Chartreuse
Sprigs of mint
In a mixing glass, lightly bruise a mint sprig with a muddler, then add the other ingredients. Stir with ice for half a minute, then strain over fresh ice into an Old-Fashioned glass. Garnish with another sprig of mint.
—Christopher Ross, assistant editor at Details