Roof Garden Cooler

In the days before air-conditioning, fancy New York hotels and nightclubs cultivated their roof gardens, where the suffering, formally dressed fish who were out on the town could catch a bit of a breeze and escape some of the summer aromas while absorbing cooling beverages. This light refresher hails from the Waldorf Hotel, before it joined up with the Astoria.

2 ounces dry vermouth
1 ounce lime juice
1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 dash Angostura bitters
To finish: chilled ginger ale

Combine in a “Collins” glass, stir to dissolve the sugar, add 4 or 5 ice cubes, and top off with ginger ale.