The legendary Ryland Inn has always been a destination restaurant, but with its reopening two years ago, it’s not just the kitchen that’s shaking things up anymore. Patrons travel long distances to sample the cuisine and cocktails, thanks to mixologist Chris James. James, who is something of a celebrity in his own right, won New Jersey’s Iron Shaker (or best bartender) contest late last year. Here, he whets our appetite for spring with a taste of the French Riviera.

- 2 oz. Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac
- .75 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Cordial
- .75 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 barspoon 2:1 simple syrup
- 1 oz. Barritts Ginger Beer
- 8 basil leaves


1. Lightly muddle the basil leaves with the lemon juice, elderflower cordial and simple syrup.
2. Add the cognac and ginger beer.
3. Fill the glass 3/4 with crushed ice and swizzle.
4. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a basil sprig. Serve with straws.

Recipe Courtesy of Chris James at the Ryland Inn. 

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