Drink This Now: The Bohemian at Nomads
When the late-summer heat gets sticky and sleepy, I think wistfully of spring — when gardens were lush with hopeful blooms, when the city air didn’t taste like asphalt, when I could step outside without immediately acquiring the smell and sheen of the kid manning the Twinkie fryer at the state fair. I crave something fresh and light, something with as few ingredients as I have fucks left to give. And lately, I’ve been craving The Bohemian, a cocktail that Andrew Olsen (currently bar manager at Rye on the Plaza) developed for the menu at Nomads Coffee and Cocktails.
The Bohemian at Nomads is an approachable combination of gin, elderflower liqueur, and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice served in a Collins glass with a citrus slice the size of a pool float. Raise the glass to your lips and you inhale a fresh, floral aroma that’s lively and light. Part of the drink’s appeal is its streamlined ingredients list. Bartenders have been riffing on the recipe for years — some add egg white, others a dash of Peychaud’s bitters. But Olsen’s version is sleek as an otter.
“I’m a firm believer in a lot of modern classics,” he says. “Things that are low in the quantity of ingredients but high in the quality.”
That pared-down approach means each element has to be in perfect balance. J. Rieger Co. gin fits the bill, given its less busy botanical profile. So does Giffard’s wild elderflower liqueur, which is a little less sweet (and a lot more floral) than St-Germain. The result is a graceful, elegant cocktail that tastes bright, juicy, and dangerously un-boozy. It’s the kind of drink you think you’re nursing slowly, until you glance down and realize you’ve siphoned up the whole glass like a hose-nosed tree shrew.
It’s also $8, which is a little less pricey than cocktails at similar joints. Even if you’ve had this drink a hundred times, Nomads’ version will give you something new to admire.
— Liz Cook (Twitter: @lizcookkc)