This drink was given to us by author and former Gramercy Tavern managing partner Nick Mautone. He explains that the Pineau des Charentes is cognac that’s been blended with the juice of just-pressed grapes within hours of leaving the press. Both a red and a white variety are available. Find it online at K&L Wine Merchants. Crème de cassis is black-currant liqueur.
Red currants, white grapes, or lemon twist (for garnish)
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the dash of bitters. Squeeze the two lemon wedges over the shaker and drop them in. Add the brandy, Pineau des Charentes, and crème de cassis. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosted and beaded with sweat.
Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a branch of red currants or white grapes or a lemon twist.