Cocktails

A Casually Sophisticated Night of Music, Food and the Four Elements at National Sawdust

Singer Magos Hererra and the musical ensemble during the third course FIRE, during Elements of Time + Taste at National Sawdust. Photo: Megan Penmann
Singer Magos Herrera and the musical ensemble during the third course FIRE, during Elements of Time + Taste at National Sawdust.

Earth, air, fire and water: the vital components that make up our living world were the inspiration for a special night at National Sawdust (80 N 6th St) last Thursday, where musicians collaborated with acclaimed chef Patrick Connolly of neighboring restaurant Rider and mixologist Allen Katz (NY Distilling Company) to compose an immersive performance harmonized with food and drink. The inventive evening included avant-garde music spanning several genres (jazz, electronic, folk, world), eclectic performers, and an exceptional food and cocktail pairing set in an informal salon atmosphere.

National Sawdust. Photo: Megan Penmann
Before the show, National Sawdust.

National Sawdust is a beautifully designed black box theatre with acoustics that rival the Sydney Opera House. If you’ve been to NS more than once, you’ve likely experienced a variety of stage setups. The auditorium layout was designed to play a little Tetris, with the stage location and seating arrangement tailored to each performance and always sounding incredible no matter what the scenario. Last week’s show was no different; with tables and chairs arranged cabaret-style to face the stage and corn husks as our plates, the night had a casual vibe nestled in an intimate high-end venue. Continue reading

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Five Leaves’ Debuts Their Late Summer Menu

One of the late summer dishes, Sweet Corn Flan  All images: Five Leave/Instagram

Back in 2008, an Australian-American restaurant/bar opened on Bedford with its primary claim to fame being that Heath Ledger (RIP) had been involved in its conception. Now, Five Leaves is closing in on nine years in the neighborhood and is still one of the most popular spots around. It’s burger and pancakes are institutions on the New York dining scene and that weekend brunch wait hasn’t gotten any shorter. This doesn’t mean that they want to rest on their laurels though. If you’ve stopped by this year, you may have noticed both the food and cocktail menus changing ever so slightly towards a little more seasonality. They’re definitely giving the locals a good reason to stop by for dinner.

Five Leaves did always have a seasonal and organic angle to their menu, but when Chef Warren Baird took the helm in the kitchen towards the end of 2015, he knew it was time to step up their game a little bit. The local and sustainable movement has grown a lot in the past few years. Now, producers and consumers are more aware of our food systems’ environmental impact. But, luckily, consumers are also more willing to trust a chef when presented with unique dishes, like blue catfish done up Szechuan-style. Continue reading

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Seeking Out Greenpoint’s Best Aperol Spritzes

via Shayz Lounge’s Instagram

In New York City, selecting the ‘drink of the summer’ is a hallowed warm-weather tradition, as inevitable as busted subway air-conditioning, blaring ice-cream-truck jingles, and promising yourself that this year, without a doubt, you’ll bike from Brooklyn to the Rockaways (and then…ya know…NOT doing that).

For this year’s Summer Sipper Supreme (ugh, sorry),  the Cocktail Powers That Be went with an old-school classic, beloved by Italian grandmothers far and wide: The Aperol Spritz. The ingredients are simple: Aperol (an Italian aperitif made from bitter orange and herbs), ice cubes, some bubbly, and a citrus peel. From there, the bartender has the freedom to get weird, and Greenpoint’s best spritz-maestros take full advantage. Here are five of Greenpoint’s finest Aperol (and Aperol-adjacent) spritzes, just in time for those last drunken days of summer. Continue reading

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Negroni Week! Sip Cocktails For Charity All Over North Brooklyn June 5-11

The negroni. Image via Negroni Week.
The classic negroni, served up. Image via Negroni Week.

The classic negroni is a classic for a reason. With equal parts gin, campari and sweet vermouth on ice with an orange peel, sipping it makes me feel like I’m zooming around the Italian coast on a Vespa in perfect 72-degree weather while shouting “ciao!” at passerbys (even if I happen to be in a dark Brooklyn bar on a cold night). The bitterness hits you first, and then you start to experience the sensual bed of sweetness, which is what fully transports you to a specific time and place. This week, June 5-11, more than a dozen local watering holes are participating in Negroni Week, in which specialty negronis are sold to benefit charities of the bar’s choosing. Here’s who’s participating in the ‘hood, and the negronis and specials they’ve got going.

No. 7 North | 931 Manhattan Ave.
Negroni: Negroni Sbagliato — Campari, Amaro CioCiaro & Prosecco
Charity: Refugee Canteen

Northern Territory | 12 Franklin St.
Charity: Water for People

Lo-Res Bar
(@ Nitehawk) | 136 Metropolitan Ave.
Negroni: Greenhook Gin (a Brooklyn distillery), Campari and Cinzano, $8
Charity: Water for People
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Diamond Lil, a Nouveau Bar on Nassau

All photos by Jackie Roman 

A couple of weekends ago, Diamond Lil quietly opened its doors at 179 Nassau Avenue. The bar takes its name from a risqué Broadway play by former Greenpoint resident, playwright, Hollywood star and sex symbol, Mae West. This is just one of the ways the space pays homage to strong women. The bar is co-owned by John Wright and Tim Murray, who is the same owner of Broken Land (105 Franklin Ave.) which hosted several fundraisers for Planned Parenthood leading up to the Women’s March earlier this year. There will likely be fundraisers in the future focusing on local organizations.  Continue reading

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Warm or Bubbly, These Seasonal Cocktails Welcome Winter

Crank up the heat on a cold night with some of these classics. There’s a reason people have turned to these drinks to warm-up for hundreds of winters. Step out from the cold and into one of these inviting bars for a drink that will make you want to curl up in a wool blanket or break our the bubbles to celebrate the end of 2016!

Hot Toddy – The Topaz. Photo by Desirée Flores

The Topaz
251 Bushwick Ave., East Williamsburg
Hot Toddy $11, $8 at Happy Hour M-S 5-8 p.m., all night Sun.

The “best dressed” hot toddy in Brooklyn. This holiday favorite is mixed to perfection featuring the flavors of the season. Allspice Dram, pimento bitters, lemon and honey accompany Lairds & Co. Five Star Whiskey. This cocktail is sure to warm your heart. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Cocktail Becomes As Famous As The Neighborhood Itself

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-5-51-27-pmI was reading an article on eleven of the hottest cocktails from around the globe in the New York Times when the article mentioned a new drink that is all the rage: the Greenpoint.

Though it pains me as a proud Brooklynite, the Greenpoint is a variation on the famous cocktail the Manhattan. The drink, created by Michael McIlory at NYC’s legendary Milk and Honey, gets it name because the Chartreuse that is its main ingredient creates a green hue.

So, what goes into a Greenpoint? The drink consists of two ounces of rye whiskey and a half ounce of yellow Chartreuse. Then add another half ounce of sweet vermouth. The last two ingredients are pinches of angostura bitters and orange bitters. Take all the ingredients and put them in a mixing glass with ice. Next, stir and strain it into a cocktail glass. Finally, top it off with a lemon twist garnish. Continue reading

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Endless Summer: The Search for the Perfect Frozen Cocktail

Does the end of summer have you feeling blue? Unfeel all your feels and keep that summer vibe going with these tasty frozen cocktails served long after your tan fades.

Frozen White Sangria - Northern Territory
Frozen White Sangria – Northern Territory

Northern Territory
12 Franklin St., Greenpoint

Frozen White Sangria $12
Enjoy this frozen White Sangria with a killer view of Manhattan from this north Brooklyn rooftop. Additional frozen cocktails on rotation.

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Samson’s: By The Book? Whose Book?

Delilah’s owner Tommy Ferrick.

New bar openings in the Greenpoint neighborhood are always exciting for us. Being the men-about-town that we are, we’ve hit up nearly all the hottest and hippest spots from Driggs to Ash. Yet ever since the closing of our perpetual ride-or-die watering hole,  Greenpoint Heights, we have been searching for that “everybody knows your name” kind of place.

At long last, we may have found our home away from home once again.

Nestled in what should be called “The Little Steak-Shop That Could,” Delilah’s Steaks (55 McGuinness Boulevard), sits the delightful new seven seater bar with the unbearably appropriate name: Samson’s. Yet unlike the Biblical frenemies, Samson’s is the perfect complement to owner Tommy Ferrick’s cheesesteak mecca—the first step in his risky but ever-so-admirable master plan to battle the lumbering titans that are Seamless and other services like it. Continue reading

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Classic French Cooking Meets Innovative Twists at Sauvage

image via sauvageny.com
image via sauvageny.com

Last week, the owners of the James Beard award-winning cocktail bar Maison Premiere, Joshua Boissy and Krystof Zizka, opened their new restaurant opposite McCarren Park, Sauvage (on the corner of Lorimer Street & Nassau Avenue/Bedford Avenue). With this new project came a full kitchen allowing the restaurateurs to expand their menu offerings in the gorgeously renovated space. The interior evokes a French Art Nouveau cafe with many decor pieces supplied by local artisans and the food thoughtfully balances old and new sensibilities. Continue reading

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