A Genius Drink​​​


s three MacArthur Foundation grant recipients arrived at the Musket Room, a restaurant located in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood, for a dinner hosted by RL Magazine in November 2013 (a full recounting of which appears in our January 2014 issue), head sommelier Erin Scala plied each with a Pine Flip, a libation she’d invented specifically for the occasion. Maria Chudnovsky, a mathematician in the 2012 class, and 2013 honorees Vijay Iyer and Sheila Nirenberg all enjoyed the evergreen twist on classic eggnog and promised to try their own versions at home. It was an easy Monday night, the room cozy and warm with early holiday cheer, and the conversation flowed liberally.

“But this will cure all straight; one sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bliss of dreams.”
Comus, by John Milton

So that you and yours also might enjoy this unique cocktail, Scala has graciously provided the recipe and comments about her inspiration.

Bartender Dane Campbell shows RL Magazine how to craft the perfect Pine Flip


For an additional wintry touch, garnish your pine flip with a cluster of pine needles


“The Pine Flip is essentially a pine-flavored eggnog,” says Scala. “We used [pine-infused] vodka and Chartreuse Verte to add herbaceous, alpine aromas and flavors. A little bit of Bols Genever turns it up with a juniper flavor but still keeps the cocktail smooth and rich. Add some winter bitters on top, like pine bitters or another [kind] made from a wintry spice, and you have yourself a frothy, alpine eggnog!”


  • 1 egg
  • 1½ oz. pine-infused vodka
  • ¾ oz. Chartreuse Verte
  • ½ oz. Bols Genever
  • ½ oz. sweetener, such as agave nectar cut with water
  • Licorice bitters or pine bitters, for garnish

Break an egg into a shaker, and shake it. Add all the other ingredients, and shake with ice until the contents thicken. Double-strain into a chilled champagne coupe, and garnish with a few drops of licorice bitters or pine bitters. Cheers!

  • Image by Chris Hicken exclusively for RL Magazine
  • Film shot by Chris Hicken and directed by Gordon Hull