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Nation & World

The Ultimate Cocktail To Send Off An NPR Host: 'Radio Silence'

Radio Silence, a cocktail developed by Damon Boelte of the Grand Army Bar in Brooklyn to honor Robert Siegel.
Radio Silence, a cocktail developed by Damon Boelte of the Grand Army Bar in Brooklyn to honor Robert Siegel.

All Things Considered host Robert Siegel likes a good cocktail. He also likes to talk about cocktails.

For the past few years, right before New Year's Eve, he has talked with Emma Allen, who covered the New York City bar scene for The New Yorkerand now edits the magazine's famous cartoons.

This year, she had a surprise for him.

Allen spoke to Siegel from the Grand Army Bar in Brooklyn, where co-owner and bartender Damon Boelte recently came up with a new drink, something he does pretty much on a nightly basis.

"We're happy to come up with something on the fly," Boelte says, before describing his newest cocktail, a martini, while All Things Considered associate editor Carol Klinger mixed one up in D.C. for Siegel.

Robert Siegel, who is retiring after 30 years on the air, tastes a cocktail fittingly named Radio Silence.
Jenna Sterner / NPR
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Robert Siegel, who is retiring after 30 years on the air, tastes a cocktail fittingly named Radio Silence.

Boelte sees a martini as a cocktail you take your time to drink.

"To me, a martini is more than just gin and vermouth and bitters," Boelte said. "You can throw sherry in there for the vermouth, you can modify it with Chartreuse (an ancient French liqueur) or things like Bénédictine (another ancient French liqueur Boelte is fond of), but for me, a martini is always something very clean, and also slightly reflective."

"It's something you sip on. You don't really slam it," he adds.

And the name of this drink?

"In the interest of reflection, I named this one Radio Silence," says Boelte.

Klinger wanted a drink created for Siegel, who is retiring from All Things Considered after 30 years. Allen said Boelte could do the job.

"This drink is especially inspired by the end of your tenure on the air, which we're all saddened by, but what better excuse to drink away our sorrows?" Allen asks, before taking a sip along with Siegel, who pronounces the drink created in his honor to be "very good."


Radio Silence

Courtesy of Damon Boelte of Grand Army Bar

2 ounces Brooklyn Gin

0.75 ounce Lustau Manzanilla sherry

0.25 ounce Bénédictine

3 dashes Bartlett pear bitters (or sub 1 dash Angostura bitters)

Stir with ice, strain into a coupe glass, garnish with a lemon twist.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.