Sure, Sonoma is best known for vineyards, but this vibrantly hued cocktail also hails from wine country.
Duke’s, which opened last June in Healdsburg, California, uses local produce in its drinks. That makes sense, as its co-founder Tara Heffernon, a botanist, grows many of the herbs and edible flowers the bar uses. She also has an orchard and vineyard that supply ingredients. The ownership team of Heffernon and mixologist Scott Beattie worked together at SpoonBar, another Healdsburg spot and a pioneer in the California cocktail scene that specialized in fresh fruit infusions.
The drink showcases and—according to the bar’s third co-founder, Laura Sanfilippo—was inspired by a local barrel-aged gin with a “creamy texture” that pairs well with carrot juice and spice. (The drink can be made with unaged gin, too.) A particularly nutty vermouth made by a local producer pulls the drink together.
“We’re obsessed with vermouth,” says Sanfilippo. “It’s our salt. It’s our bitters. It harmonizes. We pretty much feature it in all of our cocktails, even if it’s not listed.”
The Night Vision Cocktail
Courtesy Tara Heffernon and Laura Sanfilippo, co-founders, Duke’s, Healdsburg, California
- 4–5 caraway seeds
- 1½ ounces Spirit Works Barrel Gin
- 1 ounce carrot syrup (recipe below)
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- ¼ ounce Sutton Cellars Brown Label dry vermouth
- Fennel frond or carrot top with leaves, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, use a muddler to crack the caraway seeds. Add remaining ingredients (except garnish) and ice. Shake well, and double-strain into a coupe glass. Add garnishes.
- 4 ounces fresh carrot juice
- 2 ounces simple syrup (1 part water to 1 part sugar)
Stir together carrot juice and simple syrup. Use immediately. Makes enough for 6 cocktails.