Gotham magazine is a ritzy New York monthly aimed strictly at the haves. Wondrich came up with this drink for its debut issue in the course of his duties as cocktail editor. His mandate was to create with something swank and sophisticated, yet not too difficult to knock together—the editor wanted something that would replace the Cosmo. He won’t admit to failure, but Wondrich certainly concedes that the schedule has slipped a tad.

2 ounces VSOP cognac
1 ounce French (dry) vermouth
1/2 ounce crème de cassis
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
To finish: lemon peel

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; twist lemon peel over the top.