Since giving the former location of the raucous nightclub the Joyous Lake a deep-tissue makeover and opening as Silvia in 2017, the restaurant has brought fresh energy and creativity to Woodstock's culinary scene. Blending farm-to-table sourcing practices with Asian and New American culinary inspirations, Silvia offers refined, hearty fare saturated with flavor.
The cocktail program, headed up by Mark Landsman, holds its own alongside the strong food menu, boasting inventive yet subtle, and often unexpected, flavor combinations. "I think of the drink program as an extension of the food," says Landsman, who previously helped open Curio Station & Bar in town. "One of the things I like most about the food at Silvia, is that you get an intensity of flavor that is unusual in dining, which creates memorable moments for people, like, 'Oh, this is the essence of blueberry."
- 42 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock; (845) 679-4242 Silviawoodstockny.com
Speaking of blueberry, this end-of-summer cocktail uses a blueberry cardamom syrup created by Silvia chef and co-owner Doris Choi. (Feeling temperate? This syrup can also be added to seltzer for a tasty mocktail.) "I try to incorporate unusual flavors into classic recipes to create complex and bright drinks that still let the base spirit shine through," Landsman says. "This play on a fizz swaps port for gin, and then makes up for port's lower ABV by using prosecco in place of soda water."
All of Silvia's specialty cocktails include a house-made syrup infusion that uses the fruit and flavors of the season. (The summer menu also saw a watermelon verbena margarita, which was understated and excellent). "In this drink, the rich nutty flavor of tawny port pairs well with the blueberry and cardamom, while the lemon and prosecco add tartness and balance. This cocktail is light enough to drink before dinner, and rich enough to enjoy with dessert."
1.5 oz Niepoort 10-year tawny port (or any tawny port)
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz blueberry cardamom syrup
.75 oz aquafaba (chickpea water)
Shake all ingredients, except prosecco, vigorously with ice, and double strain into a coup glass. Add prosecco, and garnish with a shake of ground cinnamon. Blueberry Cardamom Syrup
1 qt pure blueberry juice (Lakewood and Knudsen are both widely available—just make sure to avoid blended blueberry juice, which is mostly apple.)
1 qt organic cane sugar
1/3 cup crushed cardamom pods
Bring all ingredients to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for half an hour. Let cool. Strain and store
42 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock; (845) 679-4242