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2000s Recipes + Menus

The Melissa Leo

Makes4 drinks
  • Active time:5 min
  • Start to finish:25 min
February 2009
Inspired by the tough, no-nonsense characters Leo has played in her career, this cocktail includes equal parts orange juice and aquavit—a union of sweet citrus and herbaceous spirit—rounded out by orange liqueur, lime juice, and a bit of vanilla extract. Crushed ice nods to the landscape of the film for which she was nominated, Frozen River, while a curly strip of orange zest pays whimsical tribute to the actor’s reddish-brown locks.

1 (4- by 1/2-inch) strip orange zest (remove with a vegetable peeler)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp water
8 oz (1 cup) chilled aquavit such as Linie or O.P. Anderson
4 oz (1/2 cup) Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or triple sec
8 oz (1 cup) chilled fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Crushed ice

• Cut orange-zest strip lengthwise into 4 equal pieces.
• Bring sugar and water to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Transfer syrup to a very small bowl and add zest strips. Soak 5 minutes.
• Remove strips from syrup, reserving syrup, and coil around a chopstick or a pencil. Let strips dry until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from chopstick.
• Stir together aquavit, Cointreau, juices, vanilla, and 1 tsp reserved sugar syrup.
• Fill 4 cocktail glasses with crushed ice and divide aquavit mixture among them. Garnish with orange curls.