The Bartender’s Favorite Drink: Diedre Hayes
Diedre Hayes is the bar manager and bartender-extraordinaire at The Oak Room, in the Intercontinental Hotel south of the Plaza. One hot, humid night, I asked her about her favorite drink. She calls it The Bulliet Swizzle.
I came up with the Bulliet Swizzle last summer. The vodka tonics, vodka sodas — all the flavored vodkas get old and tired and I wanted to make a great refreshing summer drink. I also love classic cocktails, especially a good Old Fashioned, and I wanted a cocktail that tasted like it could be a classic but was unique. So I was experimenting one evening and just made a few. The cocktail waitress liked it so much she started selling them to all her customers.
It’s made with a great small-batch bourbon called Bulliet, hence the name. I feel most cocktails are too fruity and there’s too much Chambord and pink things. I just wanted a good bourbon drink that still acts like a bourbon. The mixture is so you can taste the bourbon — it’s just a little bit extra. Bourbons can be overpowering but Bulliet is a very mixable bourbon. It’s lesser known but not at all lesser quality.
It’s also very easy to make.