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2017 Best Cocktails in America: Transformation Cubed

These 10 cocktails, selected by the editors of Restaurant Hospitality, showcase bartenders’ creative takes on top bar trends. Read on and get inspired. See all the winners >>

Transformation Cubed

Trend: Playful

Where to get it: Firefly, Washington, D.C.

Creator: Brendan Ambrose, lead bartender 

Price: $15

Ingredients: Tanqueray gin, basil-lime cordial and an Aviation sphere (gin, Luxardo maraschino liqueur and crème de violette). 

About the drink: This is two cocktails in one, a playful combination of a traditional Aviation and a Gimlet. The drink starts out tasting crisp and fresh and gradually gets sweeter as the ice melts.

A look at the trend: On the food side, restaurants are giving guests something to talk about with playful dishes that command attention. But the same is true for cocktails.

Firefly’s Transformation Cubed is a terrific example. Although the cocktail menu at this Kimpton restaurant changes quarterly, lead bartender Brendan Ambrose said Transformation Cubed was the first drink to become a signature that stays on the menu year round.

Transformation Cubed is really two cocktails in one. First, Ambrose makes an Aviation, with gin, Luxardo cherry liqueur and crème de violette, which is bright purple. He freezes the Aviation mixture into ice spheres.

The frozen Aviation sphere is placed in a glass and garnished with a lime and edible flowers. Over the top, the bartender pours a gimlet, made with gin and basil-infused lime juice.

The first sip is more tangy-sour gimlet, but as the Aviation ice sphere melts, the cocktail becomes sweeter and changes color.

TAGS: Drink Trends
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