kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Featured Cocktail: Fifties on Fifth


While recently working on a piece about presidentially-inspired cocktails, I came across this sip from D.C. gastropub Shaw's Tavern. Bar manager and mixologist Ron Herbison told me that applejack, or cider as it used to be known, was the preferred tipple of President William Henry Harrison, used at Shaw's in the Fifties on Fifth cocktail on their upcoming new drinks list. "A bit harsh, we spruce it up to make it refined--dare I say cosmopolitan," he explains. "We make it on the rocks as there is no sense in going over the top."

Fifties on Fifth makes use of applejack, the distilled cider popular with our Founding Fathers (and known for its inclusion in the Jack Rose cocktail.) The inclusion of cranberry gives it a decidedly festive tone, and basil and Vermouth add aromatics. Laird's is the most readily known producer.

Fifties on Fifth Courtesy of Ron Herbison, bar manager, Shaw's Tavern, Washington, D.C. 1 ounce Applejack 1/2 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth 1/2 ounce Dolin Sweet Vermouth Cranberry juice Basil

Muddle a few basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add other ingredients and ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.