Lady Peaceful, Lady Happy

The Surrealist, as served at Lady Silvia in the Soho Lofts, $14

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Ray Srp, beverage consultant to Lady Silvia, wondered what would happen if the Pisco Sour and the Hemingway Daiquiri got together and had a baby. Would it be, perhaps, anything like his elegant-yet-simple Surrealist? Who knows. But such things are known to happen in spring.

On a menu where all the requisite spirits are present and well accounted for, Srp was looking for a little variety in his offerings for the Arts District’s newest resident, a tiny book-lined bar devoid of signage but bursting with charisma. “It’s OK to put your own twist on a classic recipe,” Srp offers to home mixologists. “Many of today’s modern cocktails can be traced back to the classics.”

A wise man, Srp has been in the business longer than some Las Vegas bartenders have been alive, and he has but two rules: First, never start the cocktail creation process before lunch (“It can make for a very short day”), and second, taste each ingredient individually before mixing them, as it helps you balance the flavors.

He also wants to coat the pill, so to speak, slipping something foreign to those who might not be familiar with Chartreuse, a spellbinding spirit developed by French monks in 1764 based on an even earlier recipe said to have come from a 16th century alchemical manuscript. The recipe for that tonic, Elixer Végétal, remains a secret save for the two monks who have it memorized. And they’re not exactly talking.

In a mixing glass, combine 1½ ounces Barsol pisco, ½ ounce green Chartreuse, 1 ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, I ounce simple syrup, ½ ounce egg white. Add ice, cover and shake well until egg whites are frothy. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with 6 drops of Angostura aromatic bitters.

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Like Due Forni owner Alex Taylor, formerly of Wynn Resorts, and chef Carlos Buscaglia, formerly of Fiamma, barman Mike Donaldson carved a career out on the Strip before heading for the hills of south Summerlin. He started with the Light Group and Tao Group before opening Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. in the Cosmopolitan as the sommelier and beverage director. Now at Due Forni (3555 S. Town Center Drive, Suite 105), Donaldson has managed to create a small but powerful cocktail program in a restaurant better known for its wine list and more than 40 by-the-glass offerings.