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The Theatrical History Behind The Broadway Cocktail

drink in front of lights
drink in front of lights - Profotosession/Shutterstock

The world of Broadway has long been synonymous with glamour, drama, and a touch of the extraordinary. With dazzling lights and stunning performances, it's no surprise that Broadway has found its way into the exciting realm of mixology. So, who is to thank for this ongoing trend? In 1999, Sweet Hospitality Group (SHG) created the first featured show cocktail for Lincoln Center Theater's world premiere of Susan Stroman and John Weidman's Tony Award-winning musical, "Contact." From there, the Broadway cocktail scene experienced something of a renaissance, with more and more theaters creating signature cocktails for their productions during pre-show, intermission, and after the show.

However, Broadway cocktails are not just about the taste; they also play a role in the overall theatrical experience. The beverages are often inspired by the show's theme, characters, or setting. Furthermore, much like a well-scripted play or musical, the typical Broadway cocktail is a carefully composed ensemble of ingredients. The only catch? They need to come together — quickly. SHG has only 15 minutes to serve patrons during intermission, they're able to do this by making batch cocktails, which are pre-made to ensure the audience has their drinks in hand in time for Act Two. The company's service is fast, but the quality products SHG uses in their mixes are not. The team uses premium spirits, craft bitters, flavorings, and syrups in its recipes and tries to buy locally as much as possible.

Read more: 23 Cocktails To Try If You Like Drinking Gin

Make Your Own Showstoppers

bartender shaking a cocktail
bartender shaking a cocktail - Hananeko_Studio/Shutterstock

Are you ready to recreate one of these specialty drinks at home? Here are three SHG Broadway cocktail recipes to try. First, consider The Toast of Mayfair, inspired by "Cabaret." It's a sophisticated mixture made with gin, kirschwasser, and sparkling wine. Next, you might want to whip up a glass of Kinky Bubbles, with influence from "Kinky Boots." Featuring Kinky Liqueur, lemon juice, and Prosecco, this cocktail is garnished with a raspberry. Finally, the Cup of Tea, invented for "The King and I" features a delicious combination of Mekong Thai Spirit, Thai iced tea, and RumChata.

In recent years, Broadway has also embraced the concept of signature mocktails, creating non-alcoholic beverages that are just as creative and appealing as their alcoholic counterparts. These mocktails often feature unique flavors and presentations, and they are a welcome option for those who do not drink alcohol or for families with children.

Today, cocktails are an integral part of the Broadway experience. They offer a unique way to enhance the pre-show, intermission, and post-show moments, adding an extra layer of excitement to a night out on the Great White Way. Whether enjoying one of the three cocktail wishes from Disney's "Aladdin" or a Heir Today Gone Tomorrow from "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," specialty Broadway beverages continue to add a touch of magic and sophistication to the show!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.