Eighty-five. That’s how many cocktails Tao Group Director of Beverage Tim Keller tasted with the company’s partners when they were deciding on the menu for Lavo at the Palazzo. They sipped, swirled and analyzed, then boiled down the roster to 10 signature libations ranging from the bubbly Lavolini to the coolly fruity Uva Bianco. And the drinks sell. In more than three years, they’ve hardly changed a thing.
That’s not because Keller played it safe with Lavo’s cocktail list. He says they skipped the ubiquitous standards for original beverages with more balance and personality. “A cosmopolitan is a cosmopolitan anywhere.”
And a mojito is a mojito. Instead, Keller recommends the Saggio ($14), a refreshing drink with all the herbaceousness of a mojito but made with sage and lemon juice for a bright citrus note that balances out the drink’s Stoli Blueberi base. It’s a cocktail that’s all about aroma, freshness and immediate gratification. Just how Keller likes it.
1 3/4 oz. Stoli Blueberi
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. lemon juice
10 sage leaves
1 oz. white cranberry juice
1/4 oz. soda
Method: Muddle the sage in a rocks glass with the lemon juice. Pour contents into a shaker and add all ingredients except the soda. Add ice to shaker and shake vigorously. Pour entire contents back into the original rocks glass. Top with soda and garnish with a sprig of sage.