Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice. Check out our Good Call archives for another round.
Today’s call comes by way of Ryan Chetiyawardana, bartender at the newly opened Half & Half at Hudson (356 West 58th Street; 212-554-6217).
Though the recently opened Half & Half specializes in drinks from the ’80s — booze-filled cherry cola slushies, for instance — top mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana is a manhattan-drinker at the end of the day.
The bartender initially became interested in his craft via a love for cooking; he started his career in the kitchen. “I really wanted to do something practical that I loved,” says Chetiyawardana. “It was a big part of my life growing up.”
Unfortunately, the back of the house prevented him from interacting with customers, something he held in high regard. “Not cooking for someone…felt very alien to me,” he says. A friend suggested Chetiyawardana apply his love of cooking methods behind the bar, and he quickly found his niche. There, you’re “still working with flavors…understanding timing,” he says.
But when it comes to his go-to drink, he opts for something fairly simple. “The drink I order when I’m going out is a manhattan,” he says. “It’s a moment of reflection. It’s something I order all around the world…I don’t think many people, when you order a manhattan, will stray too far from the archetype…You can mainly trust it will be made with love.”
After that, he sips a scotch and soda. “Scotch whiskey has always been something that’s been close to my heart,” says Chetiyawardana.
2 parts 100 proof rye
1 part Cocchi vermouth
Couple dashes of Angostura bitters
Dash of Peychaud bitters
Splash of Maraschino
Cracked fresh ice
Pour all of the ingredients over the cracked ice and give it a quick stir. Strain it into a chilled martini glass. Take a small orange peel and spritz that over the top. Add a luxardo cherry for garnish.
Scotch and Soda
Pour 1 1/2 or 2 ounces of scotch (Compass Box works well) over fresh ice. Top with chilled soda water. Depending on the whiskey, it’s nice to have a long orange or lemon peel and wrap it inside the glass.