Little Branch: The Sugar Plum
This cocktail started with Fifty Pounds London Gin, mixed with grapefruit juice and house-made grenadine. Heavy on the gin, this drink had all the aroma of the Fifty Pounds lightly tempered by the bitterness and acid of the grapefruit.
Death and Co.: The Bitterbender
Death and Co. of East Village fame was the only bar to serve a whiskey drink last night. They mixed Elijah Craig 12 year bourbon with cocoa nib-infused Campari, plus ginger syrup, raspberries, lemon juice, and sparkling wine. The result was pretty to look at, but pulled its weight in complexity and booziness.
The Wayland: Garden Margarita and Orange Jewel
The Wayland was the only bar serving two drinks last night. Their savory Garden Margarita is a best-seller at their bar, made with Lunazul Blanco Tequila, kale and ginger juice, agave nectar, lime, and chili salt. They also served a mezcal cocktail, made with Bauchant orange liqueur, Los Amantes Mezcal, Cynar, lemon, and basil. We appreciated a break from some of the sweeter drinks with these offerings from The Wayland.
Asellina: La Tempesta
Asellina's drink was made with Le Reviseur Cognac, Lazzaroni Amaretto, lemon juice, and Angostura bitters. The addition of amaretto meant this drink finished with heady notes of almond and vanilla after the first sip of citrus.
Rum House: Petit Milan
Served in bottles, this effervescent cocktail was made with Flor de Caña rum, Cynar, lemon juice, and soda water.
Pouring Ribbons: The Dove Tail
This drink was made with Los Amantes Mezcal, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, fortified wine, and Peychauds bitters. Sweet and pretty, with a slight funk at the end, this was actually one of the stiffer drinks of the night.
Employees Only: The Escalante
The gentlemen at Employees Only were shaking up a tart and tangy cocktail called the Escalante, featuring Campari and American Harvest vodka with grapefruit and lime juice, plus agave nectar to sweeten it slightly.
The Clover Club: El Oso
Made with reposado tequila, Cynar, lemon juice, and a honey liqueur called Bärenjäger, this cocktail was remarkably dry with a nice sour element.
Bagatelle: The Turnaround
Bagatelle's cocktail featured Chopin Potato Vodka, bittersweet Aperol, orange bitters and peel, along with Pavan liqueur, which is made with muscat grapes and orange blossoms. It reminded us a bit of sweet marmalade.