Jsix Empire State

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Recipe from Lauren Lathrop Williams, assistant manager/cocktail engineer


616 J Street, downtown



Lauren Lathrop Williams, has taken the building blocks of classic cocktailing and created a menu that positions Jsix at the apex of today’s trends. Time-honored methods and techniques have come together with the freshest ingredients and an imaginative approach to produce a list of quaffable delights that appeal to a wide variety of guests. 

Empire State, the contemporary twist on a classic Manhattan created by JSix’ Lauren Lathrop Williams, is a strong-spirited holiday cocktail steeped in tradition and brimming with warmth.  Spicy Bulleit rye is mixed with Noilly Pratt red vermouth and infused with whole vanilla beans to add a sweet scent. It is garnished with spiced, pickled cherries for an added depth of flavor and finished with a flamed orange rind that bursts with aromatics, giving the drink complexity.

Jsix Empire State
Serves 1

1 1/2 ounces vanilla-infused Bulleit Rye
3/4 ounce Noilly Pratt sweet vermouth
2 dashes of bitters
Spiced, pickled cherry (recipe follows)
Orange peel


  • Add rye, vermouth and bitters to a cocktail shaker. 

  • Add ice and shake until cold. Strain liquid into a martini glass. 

  • Garnish with a spiced, pickled cherry. 

  • Using a lighter, briefly light the orange peel over the top of the martini glass to release the essential oils found in the rind. 

  • Place peel in martini glass. 

Spiced Cherries

2/3 jar of whole cherries
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup fruity red wine
1-2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
5-7 whole cloves
Peel of 1 orange in long, thick strips
5 cardamom pods, smashed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar or 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

  • Place whole cherries, including stems and pits, into a sealable jar. 

  • Place all the ingredients except the cherries in a saucepan and heat until just under boiling. Simmer for 10 minutes. 

  • After pickling juice has simmered, remove from heat and let cool slightly. 

  • Strain spices out of liquid, leaving one cinnamon stick and one star anise in the mixture. Discard additional used spices. 

  • Pour hot liquid over cherries until completely covered. Secure the lid on the jar and refrigerate for 24 hours. Cherries will keep for about a month. 

Categories: Food & Drink