Alicia Fuhrman’s Local Libations: Take a cup o’ kindness yet

  • Millennial cocktail at The Green Room in Northampton.

  • Ingredients for a Millennial cocktail at The Green Room in Northampton.

  • Mike Lamoureux makes a Millennial cocktail (at left) at The Green Room in Northampton. Gazette Staff/Jerrey Roberts

  • Ingredients for a Millennial cocktail at The Green Room in Northampton Gazette Staff/Jerrey Roberts

  • The Millennial cocktail at The Green Room in Northampton Gazette Staff/Jerrey Roberts

Published: 1/5/2017 1:27:10 PM

2017 is here. The toasts have been made, the glasses raised. I’m always reminded around the new year how essential that interaction between us — bartender and patron, friend and friend, even strangers — is to the pleasure of drinking. Whether in flavor or circumstance, connection with another is built into the act. Which is really why I find so much value in the craft: making something worth a moment of mutuality.

It’s a sentiment I was happy to find shared at The Green Room in Northampton, where a sense of community is all over the menu, from locally sourced and housemade ingredients, to an upcoming weekly industry night as a nod to fellow restaurant employees. And of course, an ever-changing list of original cocktails, inspired by seasons, music, pop culture and more. Truly a people’s bar.

So I challenged bartender Mike Lamoureux with creating a drink to bring in the new year — something that represented the passing of 2016, or the opportunities of now.

“The Millenial,” as he calls it, is a Campari (the bitter, fruity apéritif) and bourbon-based, Prosecco-topped drink, balanced by the addition of a from-scratch lemon and coriander shrub (a vinegary style of syrup).

It’s altogether a sweet and tangy sort of punch, bright with carbonation and citrus zest, layered by herbal undertones. The bourbon adds depth, some barrel-aged char, and makes a solid backbone to the more bitter and rind notes. Served straight up and cold, it proves a smooth balancing act of some majorly assertive flavors.

As for the name? There’s been too much darkness attached to the past year, Mike says. Our celebration of a clean slate has become laced with good riddance.

In theory, this cocktail is meant particularly to remind the fiery and outspoken Millenial generation to favor optimism before anger, hope before bitterness. I say that goes for all of us.

Of course a drink can’t change the world, but it can bring a few people together, if only briefly, in appreciation of something good. And I’ll drink to that. Cheers.

How to make The Millenial

1½ ounce Bourbon

½ ounce Campari

½ ounce shrub

1 ounce Prosecco

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Try mixing some with seltzer for a unique soda, or just the Prosecco for a mimosa-like twist.

To make the shrub (yields about 1½ cups):

Zest of 12 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup water

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup white sugar

1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds

Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat (essentially making a simple syrup). Add vinegar, lemon juice and zest, and whole coriander, and simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes. Strain into a container and let cool before airtight storage in the fridge (flavor will intensify overnight).

Alicia Fuhrman is a writer and bartender, born on the West Coast and raised on the East, living and working in Northampton, for now.

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