A Mid-Winter Cocktail

This chest heater will keep Jack Frost at bay.

Give Jack Frost a stiff rum punch this season with this superlative chest heater from Milos Zica, principal bartender at cocktail mecca Employees Only in New York City.

The Star Superior

2 thin slices of fresh ginger
2 ounces Bacardi Superior rum
1 ounce Poor Man’s Chamomile Syrup
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Star anise, for garnish

Muddle the ginger in a mixing glass,

then add the rum, chamomile syrup, lemon juice, egg white and bitters. Add ice and shake vigorously for 12 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with star anise. 

About the bartender

“I’ll never forget that moment I walked into Employees Only 10 years ago,” says Milos Zica, who had just moved to New York from Serbia. “Dushan Zaric, the co-owner, invited me to sit at the bar. He brought me a glass of water and said: ‘Watch and see how we

do things.’ So I watched, and thought, ‘This is something I could do.’”

Zica then went to work at other bars. But after his shifts, he’d head over to Hudson Street and watch Zaric and his crack team. “I wasn’t alone,” he says, “everybody in the industry was doing the same thing back then.”

Finally, in October 2006, Zica got the nod. But as anyone who’s seen the movie Hey Bartender can tell you, at Employees Only, Zica had to start at the bottom of the notoriously rigorous apprenticeship program that culminates with getting the now-famous EO white bartender coat. “It took time to prove myself,” he says. “You need to earn that white jacket.” 

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