Sipping a Pink Ginger Cosmo at the Mandarin Oriental
A Cosmo? In 2011?
I’m in the Lobby Lounge on the 35th floor at the Mandarin Oriental. The city sprawls below on a gorgeous spring night.
Actually, the lounge itself where the most drop-dead views unfold is full – it’s 7 pm and I didn’t reserve — so I’m in the bar, a moody/modern/manly high-ceilinged lair lighted by filament bulbs and outfitted with white oak tables.
I’m not far from the window and the vista, similar to being on an airplane as it homes in on its destination, is sufficiently breathtaking to not make me gulp — too much — at the $19 cocktails. But a Cosmo?
Truth to tell, I’d planned to check out Above 6, the new roof bar at 6 Columbus. But its two little decks are tinier than my Manhattan kitchen, and it’s standing room only. The Mandarin beckons, a block away. Different vibe – there’s nothing boutique about it – and lots more room.
In the mood for a seasonal cocktail, I ask what’s new. I’m tempted by the Baby Buddha – the name! – but in addition to Hendrick’s gin, cucumber and sparkling sake it includes cilantro. I also pass on the Phuket Getaway (vodka, Kaffir Lime, pineapple and lime juices, cardamon syrup and . . . ginger ale).
Which brings me to the Pink Ginger Cosmo – Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, cranberry and fresh lime juices. Fighting off 90s visions of Carrie & Co., I sip. It’s light, tart and refreshing – an inviting summer-preview drink, streamlined and less sweet for the 21st century. Its coral pink hue is esthetically pleasing. And it’s a real drink. A man at the bar is drinking the same thing, and I raise my glass. He smiles, drains his and — sturdy soul — orders another.
That bar at the Mandarin is a very comfortable, high-up perch. And in its way, the Cosmo is a classic drink, a few basic ingredients with a singular distinctive taste, even if a bit of ginger is tossed in.