Bringing It on Home

Creating a Reverie facsimile

By Tony Cross

I’ve learned a great deal since I started my business, Reverie Cocktails, over five years ago. Even so, I sometimes feel like I don’t know much — I’m constantly reminded of this every time a new drink or concept fails. Mind you, I’m not afraid of failing, it’s how I learn. And, every now and then, a drink clicks.

I’m often asked by friends and patrons how they can recreate our cocktails at home. While it’s true most of our drinks can’t be recreated exactly, it’s also true that some can come pretty darn close — and taste amazing. I’m going to suggest one of our signature drinks you can make at home, but before you get started, I would highly recommend purchasing an iSi soda syphon or iSi Nitro. These allow you to carbonate the cocktails quickly. There are a lot of companies that make soda chargers, but don’t get a knock-off. Cheap imitations can be extremely dangerous — they can explode when charging — so please grab an iSi. Co2 chargers are also available online. If you’re not in the market for a soda charger, you can use sparkling water instead.

One more thing: When we batch, we clarify our juices using different enzymes and a centrifuge. Clarifying at home isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will help your drink carbonate better, and the cocktail will come out sharp instead of foamy. To do this, you’ll need a product called Pectinex Ultra SP-L, and you can get it from

Lino Blanco

This is a cocktail we put out last spring. It’s our spin on the White Linen, which was created by Rene Dominguez at the Shady Lady Saloon in Sacramento, California. It’s still on their menu the last time I checked. The original recipe calls for Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup and muddled cucumbers. We substitute Durham Distillery’s Conniption Gin and their killer Cucumber Vodka. Actually, both are killer. Everything out of Durham Distillery is top-notch. This recipe makes two cocktails.

1 1/2 ounces Durham Distillery Conniption Gin

1 1/2 ounces Durham Distillery Cucumber Vodka

1 ounce St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur

1 1/2 ounces clarified lemon juice (regular lemon juice if clarifying is not an option)

1/2 ounce simple syrup (2 parts sugar: 1 part water.)

1 ounce filtered water

If you’re using a syphon: Add all ingredients to chilled iSi soda syphon or iSi whipper. Screw on the top of the syphon, add your Co2 charger, screw on —you’ll hear the gas release into the syphon — and shake hard for 10 seconds. Gently squeeze the handle, releasing all the gas from the syphon. Do not squeeze hard or liquid will come out of the spout. Once all the gas is released, unscrew the empty charger, add one more charger, screw it on and shake for another 10 seconds. Place your syphon in the freezer for 5 minutes. When the time is up, grab your syphon and slowly release the gas. When all the gas is out, slowly unscrew the top of your syphon. Gently pour over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a few slices of cucumber.

Clarified Lemon Juice

For every 8 ounces of lemon juice, stir in 1 gram of Pectinex. This isn’t a lot, so add the Pectinex one drop at a time until you reach 1 gram. Let the juice sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, and then filter it through a Chemex or coffee filter.

If you don’t have a syphon, that’s OK, but you’ll need sparkling water. Mountain Valley is my favorite. Delete the ounce of filtered water from the ingredients list above. It was there for the syphon recipe because water is an ingredient in cocktails, usually incorporated by shaking or stirring with ice.

To make the Lino Blanco without using a syphon, combine all the above ingredients (minus water) into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake hard for 15 seconds or until the shaker is chilled. Add a healthy splash of sparkling water and strain into a Collins glass with ice. Again, garnish with a few slices of cucumber.  PS

Tony Cross is a bartender (well, ex-bartender) who runs cocktail catering company Reverie Cocktails in Southern Pines.

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