Magazine article Out

Sleep on It

Magazine article Out

Sleep on It

Article excerpt

SEAL THE DEAL WITH A LATE-NIGHT LIBATION.

The line between smooth and too smooth is precariously fine, and no drink gets closer to the edge than the nightcap. "It's about the skeeviness of saying, 'Do you want a drink?' and meaning, 'Do you want to have sex?' " says Philip Galanes, author of the Social Q's column for The New York Times and an upcoming book of the same name. "In an age of Manhunt and Grindr, we don't really need euphemisms for sex anymore."

So here's a novel thought: If you're going to invite someone up for a drink after a night out, know how to make a good one.

Nightcaps typically start with darker alcohols well suited to these increasingly colder, longer nights: brandy, cognac, or aged spirits like whisky or bourbon. Beyond that, they don't need to be complicated. "Something with three ice cubes and a certain amount of one liquid is my favorite thing," Galanes says. "Or no ice cubes and aglass of red wine."

If you're more experimental, the Old Fashioned is a good start, such as the version from Hoyt's Bar at Chicago's Hotel 71 . Its mix of bourbon with a cherry, an orange slice, sugar syrup, and Angostura bitters warms with a balance of heft and sweetness.

The Cashmir Joe, by mixologist Alex Ott of new West Hollywood restaurant Rosé, seems almost too wholesome at first glance: calming chamomile tea plus cranberry and lemon juices and raspberries, with the stealthy addition of cognac. It tastes so much like fruit juice that your new friend might doubt that it's leaded. (Rosé opened in the space formerly occupied by the legendary gay restaurant, Mark's, with a shiny St. …

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