June 1st, 2010
A drink before dinner? Try a drink for dinner with meaty libations that are a boozy meal in a glass.
Meat mania has set in so hard that we’re no longer content to just eat the stuff. Or maybe it’s just that flesh is the last frontier for mixologists, who’ve already added all manner of botanicals and offbeat vegetables to liquor. These days, we’ve fully entered the carnivore cocktail craze, a boozy parlor trick popping up on drink menus across New York City.
As with many trends, East Village curve-racer PDT takes partial credit for getting the party started—their Benton’s Old Fashioned is famously done with bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup and Angostura bitters. And Brooklyn Brewery even cooked up a bacon beer, though they’ve never sold it for public consumption (brewmaster Garrett Oliver told us about it in January).
Here are five carne cocktails we’ve decided to chew on.
Read the rest of the story, and see more pics, on Metromix.
Photos by Melissa Hom. Pictured: Boqueria’s Gilda Maria.
May 28th, 2010
This story originally appeared on Fork in the Road.
Not long ago, the American Museum of Natural History was a place to learn about the lives of dinosaurs and Neanderthals, with a possible tidbit gleaned here and there about what these creatures ate. Yet the museum has increasingly been offering food and drink events as part of its after-hours programming, through its Adventures in the Global Kitchen event series. “There’s been so much interest from our audience in the world of food,” says public programs director Ellen Silberman, who helped organize a recent lecture and tasting on Persian cuisine, and one about ancient wines, in conjunction with the “Traveling the Silk Road” exhibit. Now it seems Silberman and her staff have caught on to the cocktail-geek movement: On June 8, the museum will bring in mixologist Don Lee of Momofuku Ssam Bar and cocktail historian David Wondrich to talk about “polar cocktails.” The topic relates to the “Race to the End of the Earth” exhibit on artic exploration, and is inspired by the recent discovery of a bottle of century-old whiskey buried in Arctic ice — the drink of choice for explorer Ernest Shackleton. Among the topics these imbibing authorities will discuss is, fittingly, the importance of ice in creating the perfect cocktail. …
Read the rest of the story on Fork in the Road.
Photo: Courtesy AMNH
May 19th, 2010
In certain bar-going circles, the only spots worth visiting are those without a sign.
Although Cienfuegos–a new rum-driven bar from Ravi DeRossi (of Death & Co. and Mayahuel fame)–fits this criterion, its cheery vibe is a direct departure from the earnest, often somber environment of other “speakeasies.”
After entering through sandwich shop Carteles and shimmying up an unadorned metal staircase, you’ll be greeted by Latin music and a sunny room sponge-painted in pink and pistachio green. A tile-splashed bar, chunky chandeliers and open windows all suggest Havana in its heyday.
The cocktail menu continues the tone of sun-drenched levity, but rest assured, these drinks are no joke. There are classics like the Ernesto, a rum-maraschino-grapefruit mash-up, and the watermelon-tinted Rosa Verde shows its swagger by employing bartending trends like fancy bitters (celery) and house-made syrups (arugula).
All drinks are available in single servings or in various sizes of punch bowls. Communal imbibing is fun, but hungry drinkers should order solo when it comes to the Cubanitos. The finger-food versions of Carteles’ Cubano sandwich are so rich with house-roasted pork and garlicky mustard that you won’t want to part with them.
Cienfuegos (enter through Carteles), 443 E. Sixth St. (between First Ave. and Avenue A); 212-614-6818
April 7th, 2010
This story originally appeared on Grub Street.
Environmental lawyer Mayur Subbarao is a partner in Mayahuel and a bartender at Dram Bar, but he’s encouraging cocktail enthusiasts to get out of the bar and go home. “There’s a pretty big conceptual gap between going and having a well-made cocktail in a well-curated setting and learning how to do it at home,” he tells Grub Street. So Subarrao launched Evoe, a cocktail “society” aimed at teaching laymen about the cocktail’s “history, philosophy, and technique” — and how to stock a home bar. “People used to make cocktails at home regularly before Prohibition — they can do it again,” he says.
Look for Evoe (“the rallying cry of the Bacchanals” in ancient Rome) next on April 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. in a soon-to-open Nolita French restaurant. (When you reserve a seat for $30, you’ll get the location of the event.) The theme is Parisian cocktails of the twenties — things Hemingway and his Lost Generation cohorts might have tipped back. By focusing on liqueurs, cordials, syrups, and eaux-de-vie, Subbarao wants to show guests that “the key thing to making a wide range of cocktails is not having a wide range of spirits, it’s having a wide range of modifiers. If you have a bunch of stuff sitting around, it’s very simple to make a good cocktail. It’s cheaper and less of a commitment than opening a bottle of wine. ” E-mail Evoe to reserve a space.
Read the original story on Grub Street.
April 7th, 2010
This story originally appeared in Time Out.
The drink offers a taste of the ocean in a glass.
We’re such purists about oysters that we typically consider them best enjoyed plain—maybe with a squeeze of lemon. However, we recently tried one cocktail that may be the mollusk’s natural mate. Oceana’s eponymous signature drink ($14) draws on the flavors of the sea, adding the zesty kick of citrus and heat that recalls condiments at the raw bar. The frothy mixture of fragrant shiso, tart lime and yuzu juices, piquant serrano pepper, Cointreau and egg white includes two wild-card elements: vodka infused with fjallagros (an Icelandic moss), which imparts a deep, woody flavor, and a seaweed garnish. All told, the drink is a hodgepodge of multicultural ingredients—much like Oceana’s food itself, which draws on traditions ranging from Greek to Thai. And, like oysters, the tipple’s best enjoyed icy cold. Oceana, McGraw-Hill Building, 1221 Sixth Ave at 49th St (212-759-5941).