Flatbush Zombie ($11)
“There’s a saying in bartending that ‘less is more’ but tiki cocktails have a way of getting everything in there and still working,” says Ward. This variation on the boozy tiki favorite features a trio of rums: Appleton V/X, Flor de Caña, and Lemon Hart 151. The medley is combined with Velvet Falernum and a housemade “Don’s Mix” (named after tiki cocktail legend Don the Beachcomber) that features grapefruit and cinnamon. The resulting cocktail is juicy and fruit-forward with a warming spice backbone. “It tastes nostalgic, like a New York version of a tiki beach drink,” says McGarry.
In this stirred Sazerac variation, Ward replaces the traditional absinthe wash with a mist of smoky-peaty 10 year-old Laphroaig single malt Scotch. Fuji apple-infused Black Grouse also stars in this Scotch double-feature, mixed with Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, maple syrup, and Peychaud’s bitters. “You get smoke as you bring the drink to your face, and then when you taste it the drink balances as you get sweet, refreshing apple,” says McGarry. Echoes Ward: “It’s a fun thing to do to have a drink smell different than it tastes.”
“This is just a really good introductory gin cocktail—hopefully it will convert over some vodka drinkers,” says Ward of this bright, fresh, and floral gin drink. He combines Plymouth gin with herbaceous Yellow Chartreuse and Kaffir lime leaves. “We crack and shake the leaves with the liquid over ice and then we garnish with a whole leaf so you really get the aroma as you sip,” says McGarry.
Fatty Manhattan 2.0 ($12)
“It’s a classic Manhattan with a good hand of smoky bacon. Given that this is a BBQ restaurant this one was just a no-brainer for me,” says Ward. To make the drink’s star ingredient, the bar borrows the fat from the kitchen’s house-smoked bacon and infuses it into Buffalo Trace bourbon. Rich Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters join in as the balancing counterparts. “The bacon is relatively subtle—you don’t want to be drinking bacon—it’s more about giving the drink savory and smoky notes,” says McGarry.
Nacho Libre ($11)
“This one has been flying off the shelf since we started,” says Ward of this acid and spice-driven sipper. Thai chili-infused Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila stars here alongside La Cigarrera Manzanilla sherry, muddled cucumber, and ginger. “What makes this drink work is that you’ve got the heat from the Thai chili and the cooling effect of the muddled cucumber and the Manzanilla as the savory bridge between the two,” explains Ward.