Cocktails and Conversations turns one! The New York Design Center’s weekly Instagram Live series that debuted during national lockdowns to bring together the interior design community was introduced one year ago this month. Deemed the weekly cocktail party to virtually attend, each episode is hosted by a designer or industry-insider meant to captivate a live audience with their design savvy personality and cocktail making skills.
One year later, we’ve brought together over 300 designers, editors, influencers and the like, to discuss armchair travel inspiration, breaking rules, garden gathering necessities, new product launches, southern style, maximalism, switching careers, starting a design career (!) and so much more.
To celebrate the series anniversary, we’ve rounded up 16 of our favorite recipes from the series guests. So, grab a glass, make yourself a cocktail, and join us in toasting Cocktails and Conversations, and you all, the community that has endured so much in the past year and yet continues to move full steam ahead with incredible enthusiasm and positivity. Cheers!
Birgitte Pearce’s Il Sorpasso 1 oz Aperol
1 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
¾ teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 oz club soda
1 slice orange, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine Aperol, bourbon, honey, lemon juice and sugar. Shake well.
Fill a glass with ice, and pour in contents of shaker. Top with club soda, and garnish with orange slice.
Brad Ford’s Tequila Soda Ice
1 ½ oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1 ounce (a splash) club soda
Orange slice, for garnish
Fill a glass with ice and add tequila.
Top with club soda, garnish with orange and enjoy!
Courtney McLeod’s Old Fashioned 1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey
1 Sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Few dashes plain water
Place sugar cube in old fashioned glass and saturate with bitters, add a dash of plain water. Muddle until dissolved.
Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey.
Garnish with orange slice, and a cocktail cherry.
Chase Dowell’s Sidecar 5 oz cognac
3/4 ounce orange liqueur
3/4 lemon juice
Orange twist and sugar for rim
Coat rim of a coupe glass with sugar
Add the cognac, orange liqueur, lemon juice to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled
Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with an orange twist
Cindy Allen’s DIFFA Mule 5 oz Tito’s Vodka
½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Torn mint leaves
½ oz simple syrup
½ cup ginger beer
Start with a shaker full of ice, add vodka, lime, torn mint, simple, and shake for 10-12 seconds. Pour over fresh ice and top of ginger beer. Garnish fresh mint.
Charlotte Lucas and Liz Carroll’s Minimalist Margarita 2 ounces tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce agave nectar
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Danielle Colding’s Martini 2 1/2 ounces gin or vodka
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce olive brine
Garnish: 2 to 4 olives
Add the gin or vodka, vermouth and olive brine to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a skewer of olives.
Fernando Wong’s Wongarita Kosher salt
1 ounce fresh lime juice, plus a lime wedge for the rim and a thinly sliced half-moon of lime for serving
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce fresh orange juice, plus a thinly sliced half-moon of orange for serving
Pour salt into a saucer. Moisten the rim of a margarita glass with a lime wedge. Dip glass into salt and fill with ice; set aside.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add tequila, triple sec, orange juice, and lime juice; shake to combine and strain into prepared glass. Garnish with lime and orange half-moons. Serve.
Joanna Saltz’s Grapefruit Gin Fizz 2 ounces gin
2 ounces grapefruit juice
2 ounces tonic water, or club soda
2 sprigs rosemary
Grapefruit slices for garnish
Pour the gin and grapefruit into a large glass or cocktail shaker to mix.
Add ice to your glasses. Place one rosemary sprig in each glass.
Pour the gin mixture over the ice and add the tonic water.
Garnish with slices of grapefruit.
Keia McSwain’s Grand 75 5 oz. Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
.75 oz. fresh lemon Juice
1 bar spoon of simple syrup
2 oz. of Brut Champagne
Garnish: orange twirl
Matt Berman’s Crafted Modern 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh
1 tbsp simple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp Campari
1 1/2 tbsp Scotch whisky
2 tbsp dry prosecco
1/2 cup Ice cubes
1 Lemon peel strip
Combine Campari, Scotch, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Cover and shake vigorously; strain into a cocktail glass.
Top with prosecco, garnish with lemon peel strip.
Monica Jacobs-Driskell’s White Russian 2 oz. Kahlua
2 oz. vodka
2 oz. heavy cream
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour Kahlua and vodka into glass. Pour heavy cream over top and serve.
Patti Carpenter’s Pandemic Punch 2 oz of Belvedere Citrus Vodka
4 oz of Strawberry Lemonade
5 oz of San Pellegrino Pompelmo
Fill a highball or collins glass with ice
Add vodka, strawberry lemonade and sparkling grapefruit juice
Garnish with a strawberry and a slice of pineapple
“Refreshing makes you feel like you are on vacation and not in lockdown.”
Staci Ruiz’s Tito’s on the Rocks 2 oz Tito’s handmade vodka
3-4 ice cubes
Splash of olive juice
Add Tito’s vodka to a glass over ice. Top with a splash of olive juice.
Tina Ramchandani’s Moscow Mule 1 ½ fluid ounces vodka
½ fluid ounce lime juice
½ cup ginger beer
1 lime wedge for garnish
Pour vodka and lime juice into a mug; add ice cubes and ginger beer. Stir to combine.
Drop a lime wedge into the mug for garnish.
Todd Raymond’s Negroni 1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Gin (Hendricks)
1 oz. Vermouth (Carpano Antica)
Garnish: orange twist
Stir into glass over ice, garnish and serve.
And if none of the above cocktails are to your liking, take a page out of Michel Smith Boyd’s book and pour yourself a large glass of cabernet. Visit us on Instagram (@NYDC) to tune into the next episode of Cocktails & Conversations on Thursday, July 15 at 4:30pm EST.
Birgitte Pearce’s Il Sorpasso
Brad Ford’s Tequila Soda
Courtney McLeod’s Old Fashioned
Chase Dowell's Sidecar
Cindy Allen’s DIFFA Mule
Danielle Colding’s Martini
Fernando Wong’s Wongarita
Joanna Saltz’s Grapefruit Gin Fizz
Keia McSwain’s Grand 75
Matt Berman’s Crafted Modern
Monica Jacobs-Driskell’s White Russian
Patti Carpenter’s Pandemic Punch
Staci Ruiz’s Tito’s on the Rocks
Tina Ramchandani’s Moscow Mule
Todd Raymond’s Negroni
Charlotte Lucas and Liz Carroll’s Minimalist Margarita