Monday, June 29, 2009

What We're Drinking: Winding Down with The Flip

by Fredo

It is 3am and you have been out all night. Before throwing in the towel, you decide to have a nightcap and get into a premier cocktail bar. This is where a bad decision could occur that could wreck your morning. If you choose shots of Jameson whiskey or an all booze drink in the Manhattan family you maybe in for a long stretch in bed. If you go beer, chances are you will have more than one and walk out the bar at sunrise. As an alternative, next time you crave a stiff drink for the road but need to mellow out, try a Flip.

The Flip is one of America's oldest drinks dating back to the 18th century. Originally, the recipe consisted of ale, eggs, sugar and heated up against an hot iron. Then a stronger spirit like brandy or a sherry was added to strengthen the drink. As the Flip evolved, the ale and the heat were dropped from the recipe but fortified wine or spirit remained. Today, a typical Flip consists of a cocktail with a spirit, sherry, or port, sugar, and a whole egg, shaken over ice and dusted with nutmeg. This base formula can be adjusted, improved, and tweaked. Some of my favorite Flips:

Porto Flip
- 3 oz Port
- 1 whole egg
- 1 oz heavy cream
- 1 oz Cognac (I use Martel)
- 2 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp Green Chartreuse (float)
- Grated nutmeg garnish

Mix ingredients in shaker over cracked ice, shake hard and strain into chilled coupe. Float Chartreuse on top with bar spoon and then dust it with grated nutmeg.
(Recipe from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s Jigger, Beaker, and Glass: Drinking Around the World)

Boston Flip
- 1 oz Bourbon (I use 90 proof Elijah Craig 12 Year)
- 1 oz Madeira
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- Grated nutmeg garnish

Combine in shaker over cracked ice, shake thoroughly. Strain into chilled coupe.Dust with grated nutmeg.


Black Flip
- 1 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum
- 3 oz Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
- 1 whole egg

Combine over ice, shake thoroughly. Strain into chilled coupe.

(Adapted from Wayne Curtis’s And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails. Served at PDT in New York)

Where do we wind down?

Clover Club, ask bartender Thomas Waugh for his Wild Turkey Flip. Dutch Kills for Guiseppe Gonzalez's Champagne Flip. PDT, see above.

(photo courtesy of The Spirit World)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday Night Tastings - Chartreuse

by Fredo

Louis 649's Tuesday Night Tastings are a destination for mixologists, cocktail bloggers, spirits novices, and of course people who love free booze. Naturally, I was on the scene.

This past Tuesday, Todd Richman, Chartreuse's brand Ambassador teamed up with mixologist Eryn Reece and the Louis 649 crew to present the history of Chartreuse and then guide attendees to a tasting of the various types of the venerable 350 year old herbal liquor. Chartreuse is a French liqueur made by Carthusian monks from an centuries old recipe that is known only to three monks. No one monk knows the whole recipe, except Father Superior. The recipe is then passed on to the next generation of monks, again only three know any part of it at any one time.

Today, all Chartreuse liqueurs are made only in Voiron (France). However, the 130 herbs, plants and flowers from which Chartreuse is made are stored in the Monastery of "La Grande Chartreuse", 25 kilometres away. There, they are crushed, blended, whatever the secret recipe requires - and are eventually taken to the Voiron distillery where only the two monks are allowed to macerate and distill them, and finally oversee their ageing. - The History of Chartreuse

We tried Yellow, Yellow V.E.P(Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé), Green, Green V.E.P, and the Green 1605 (not available in the US.) Todd talked through each variation of Chartreuse and then held a Q& A. It is clear why so many bartenders at the nation's top cocktail bars are marrying Chartreuse with a variety of liquors including scotch, rye, gin, cachaca, and more. The depth of flavors that range from honey to clove to saffron compliment the main spirit without overwhelming it. Once the crowd was educated and enlightened from tastings, Todd and Eryn served up a classic cocktail that uses Chartreuse to prove their point:

The Last Word
3/4 oz Gin (Todd used Citadelle)
3/4 oz Maraschino
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Lime juice

Combine spirits and lime juice in boston shaker over ice. Shake rigorously for 10-15 seconds, strain into chilled coupe. no need for garnish but if you must, try a Luxardo maraschino cherry of lime wheel.

Don't miss Tuesday Night Tastings @:

Louis 649
649 East 9th St @Ave C
NYC, NY
http://www.louis649.com

Tuesdays is more than just tasting liquors, it is an education!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Destinations: Weekend of June 20-21


There is only one place to be this weekend and that's CONEY ISLAND for the kick off of summer!

2009 MERMAID PARADE

Saturday, June 20th, 2PM! Rain or Shine!
King Neptune Mr. Harvey Keitel and his Queen Mermaid Daphna
Special Appearances by The Uptown String Band from The Philadelphia Mummers Parade!
Monster Truck ‘Blue Thunder’ performing a parade prelude.
Performers from Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey’s Boom A Ring

For more information check out their site.

After the parade head over to the official after party:

MERMAID PARADE BALL at Dreamland Roller Rink
The Ball will run in 2 skating sessions 5:30pm-8:30pm and 9pm-Midnight
$20 (skate rental $5 or bring your own)
DJ, Burlesque and Sideshow performances, Adam Rinn, Tigger, Little Brooklyn, Ekaterina, Marni Halasa and more!

Loungerati also suggests:

Yehoodi "Brooklyn Bombshell" Mermaid party at Flatbush Farms in Park Slope.
3pm. That's at 76 Saint Marks Ave at Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Pin-Up magazine party at BROOKLYN BOTANICA in Red Hook.
220 Conover Street
Red Hook, Brooklyn
718-797-2297
10pm

"Join us for the first hot party to kick off the summer season!!

Brooklyn Pin Up will be officially launching its brand with an evening to remember, filled with sexy surprise performances, beautiful pin ups and music brought to you by DJ's Sameer and Love On The Run.

Come and kiss one of our sexy pinups in the kissing booth, enjoy one of Botanica's specialty cocktails with fresh fruit and herbs and enter to win your own pin up photo shoot!!

Also be on the lookout for Brooklyn Pinup marching in this year's Coney island Mermaid Parade earlier in the day on June 20th!!"

Friday, June 19, 2009

What We're Drinking: The Gin Rickey

by Fredo

As we kick off the summer this weekend, thoughts of seasonal cocktails dance in my head. The perfect summer drink would have to be: Simple. Classic. Refreshing. We could go with a Mint Julep but they can be labor intensive. We could go Cuba Libre but honestly, we are trying to cut down on all that corn syrup. Wait, what about the Gin Rickey? London Dry Gin. Lime. Club Soda. Yeah that's it! You will wish all cocktails were this light and easy to make when you are BBQing in the hot sun.

What - no sugar? The Gin Rickey doesn't need sugar like a Tom Collins, which is intuitive when creating sour type drinks. On the contrary, as Esquire's David Wondrich describes in his article "Gin Rickey: The Official Drink of Summer" the inventor of the drink, Colonel Joe Rickey knew that "soda dilutes the acidity just enough so that the drink isn't sour, creating a peerlessly cool, dry drink..."

Well we couldn't agree more. The Gin Rickey is our official summer drink too - imbibe indeed!

GIN RICKEY
2 oz London dry gin (We prefer Plymouth or Beefeater)
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
club soda

Squeeze a lime into a chilled Collins glass full of ice cubes. Then add the gin. Finally, top off with club soda and garnish with half a lime wedge.

Where to get one? Try a bar with outdoor seating like The Jake Walk in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn!

Salute!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Destinations: Weekend of June 13-14

Painting the town red this weekend? Why not try these events for the weekend of June 13-14:

STAUNCH! The Ultimate Grey Gardens Festival
Friday, June 12, 2009 through Sunday, June 14, 2009

"But you see, in dealing with me - the relatives didn't know that they were dealing with a Staunch Character. And I tell you - if there's anything worse than a Staunch Woman. S-T-A-U-N-C-H There's nothing worse, I'm telling you. They don't weaken! No matter what." -Little Edie

We decided to get in the act and bring it all back to the house that Grey Gardens built. STAUNCH! is going to be a tribute to the film that spawned it all and to its many, many fans. Come hang out in our living, breathing diorama of Big and Little Edie's bedroom as recreated by artists and designers, with ephemera, specialty foods and sound booths with rarely heard audio of the Beales and their friends.

Friday June 12
@8pm Grey Gardens, Dir. Albert and David Maysles (1976) 94 min.
Unpacking Grey Gardens: Panel with fashion, gender, sexuality and film personalities and director Albert Maysles.

Saturday, June 13th
@1pm: Grey Gardens, Dir. Albert and David Maysles (1976) 94 min.
@4pm: Book signing of the new Grey Gardens book - authors Rebekah and Sara Maysles, with the one and only Albert Maysles!
@8pm Live Grey Gardens inspired cabaret and burlesque, sing alongs, contests, prizes! Come perform, join in, or if need be sit on the side lines! Grey-Gardens-revolutionary outfits optional but highly suggested.

Sunday, June 14th
@2pm: The Beales of Grey Gardens, Dir. Albert and David Maysles (2006) 91 min.
@5pm: Grey Gardens, Dir. Albert and David Maysles (1976) 94 min.

*a limited number of early reservations are available. Call or email to reserve.

more info: www.mayslesinstitute.org
Maysles Cinema
343 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY


The Mode Merr Fashion Show Spectacular!

Witness the premiere of designer ANGELA ZAMPELL’S newest collection at BROOKLYN’S BELL HOUSE with a show that promises to be bigger and better then ever! Merging a runway fashion show, live music, hot rods, a full shopping boutique and cavalcade of performances from NYC’s A-List burlesque performers, this will be one sizzling Sunday afternoon you won’t want to miss.

Settling into it’s new home at Brooklyn’s indie hip and hot spot, THE BELL HOUSE, this years fashion spectacular will expand to new heights with live music from THE FISHERMANS XYLOPHONIC ORHESTRA plus performances from the MISS EXOTIC WORLD 08 ANGIE PONTANI, THE WORLD FAMOUS BOB, DIRTY MARTINI, HELEN PONTANI, DELIRIUM TREMENS, LITTLE BROOKLYN, PEEKABOO POINTE, THE LADY AYE, GIGI LAFEMME and THE WORLD FAMOUS PONTANI SISTERS. As if it couldn’t get any better, THE RUMBLERS CAR CLUB will decorate 7th Street with a dazzling array of ultra hot hot-rods!

The Bell House
149 7th St
Brooklyn, NY


Hopkins and Hawkes at Duane Park

Biggish Band leader JC Hopkins and Trombone Blat boy J.Walter Hawkes wow the supper club crowd in Tribeca.
7-9pm on Sunday June 14th
3 course prix fixe $25 and jazz only on Sunday evenings!

Duane Park
157 Duane Street
New York, NY
map

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What We're Drinking: The Dharma Daiquiri

by Fredo

I stumbled upon this excellent rendition of the Daiquiri quite by accident. See, I ran out of rum at the home bar. Usually, I'm using Ron Pampero Anniversario (Venezuela) or 10 Cane Rum but that day I had nothing. Nada. Niente. So I began scouring my reserves for Plan B, there had to be a bottle of Bacardi forchrisake. Then I came across a dusty round little bottle of Old Monk Rum. It was given to me five years ago by my friend Killer Kalman of San Francisco. Unfortunately, I put it into the black hole that is my reserves. Well necessity is the mother of invention plus I was really thirsty for a daiquiri, so I dusted the round bottle's textured glass off and got to work.

Old Monk is a blended Indian rum, aged for 7 years, and is 85 proof. The amber colored rum exhibits an earthy flavor reminiscent of nut meg, caramel, and vanilla. When used as a Daiquiri ingredient, Old Monk compliments the citrus of the fresh lime and doesn't overwhelm the sweet yet spicy taste of the Demerara-Ginger simple syrup.


DHARMA DAIQUIRI

1 1/2 oz Old Monk 7 year aged Rum
1 oz Demerara-Ginger Simple Syrup
3/4 oz Fresh Lime

Combine ingredients in shaker over ice, shake rigorously for 10-12 seconds, serve up in a chilled coupe or martini glass.

How to make Demerara-Ginger sugar simple syrup - Combine 1 cup Demerara sugar, 1 cup filtered water, and 1 bunch peeled ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved and syrup just comes to a boil. Then strain the ginger parts. Stored in refrigerator until cooled.

After a few Dharma Daiquiris you are certain to feel enlightenment.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A New Bar Grows on Henry Street, Brooklyn

by Fredo

A funny thing happened on the way to get bread at Caputo's yesterday morning. I ran into a reliable source who gave me a most interesting scoop. The team behind Brooklyn Social, a Loungerati favorite, are opening up a new bar in Cobble Hill. The former television repair shop space on Henry Street between Atlantic and Pacific Streets has been under construction for a few months but they hope to be open for business by the fall. The new bar, tentatively named Henry Public, will also have a full service kitchen and a full array of local beers and original cocktails.

Plus, it is five blocks from my apartment which makes it very convenient indeed. Good luck fellas, let us know when we come by and sample your wares.

End of an Era: Arnold Hatters Closes for good

by Fredo

"Much is said by what you wear on your head"

It is with great sadness that I report the closing of Arnold Hatters (aka Knox Hats) in Manhattan. Arnold's was more than just a hat store. It was an affordable alternative to Fifth Avenue hat specialists JJ Hatcenter and Borsolino whose hats can cost upwards of of $1,200. They were happy to work with you to find the right hat for your budget and even went the extra mile to steam a fedora for free as I talked about last year. Arnold Hatters was my hat store. It's former incarnation, Knox Hats, was my Grandfather's hat store. According to the blog Vanishing New York: "Arnold Hatters, also known as Knox Hats, which had been at 620 Eighth Avenue for more than 40 years and whose owner (Arnold Rubin) could trace his Times Square hat-selling lineage to 1926." The post goes on to discuss how eminent domain was used by City of New york to take the original Knox Hats space. The Rubins were forced to move a few blocks south to 8th Avenue and 37th Street in 2007 but the volume of business fell off. The drop in sales (despite hats coming back into fashion)due to displacement coupled with the recession was too much for the 83 year old business, this May Arnold Hatters closed its' doors for good.

According to their website:

"To all of our dear friends and customers,

Due to the worsening condition of the economy, we have had to close our doors and go out of business. We're very grateful for your patronage over the years.

God bless you all,

Arnold, Peter and Mark Rubin
Arnold Hatters"

Thank you for the countless hats, education, class, and tradition. I will miss your store, the banter, and your dedication to the craft. I wish you the best in these tough times.Godspeed!

(Photo by Vanishing New York)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Picnic like it is 1929 on Governor's Island


News from our pal Michael Arenella:

JAZZ AGE LAWN PARTY ON GOVERNORS ISLAND
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, JUNE 6th and 7th, 2009

11:00 AM to 5 PM
Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra invites you to join us on this hidden gem just off the southeastern tip of Manhattan, nestled in the heart of majestic New York Harbor.

Under a shady grove of centuries-old trees, caressed by fresh sea air, a sprawling green surrounded by historic officers quarters and 18th century naval ramparts becomes the setting for a true Gatsby affair.

Widely anticipated by flappers, sporting gents and tiny tots alike, this event has been featured annually by The New York Times and the Sartorialist.

A wide array of music, food & drink, activities, games and contests are open for all ages to enjoy:

* A delightful variety of refreshing summer cocktails, wine, prosecco and beer are available and will be served by expert mixologists.
* Picnickers are welcome. There will also be gourmet coffee and a yummy assortment of sandwiches, salads and other treats available.
* Vintage 78 records spun on 1920s Victor Credenza phonograph machine by Matthew Hinson
* 1920s Motorcar Exhibition - take a spin around the island in a genuine rumbleseat; hold on to your hat!
* Vintage clothing dealers and boutique milliners including Ellen Christine, Cassie McGregor and Leigh Magar of Magar Hatworks. They will all be peddling wares, so be sure to tuck some cash into your garter.
* Special literature/ephemera booths and readings by the Dorothy Parker Society & F. Scott Fitzgerald Society
* Horseshoe Toss
* Tug O' War
* Parade Of Hats (Sunday Only)
* Pie Recipe Contest (Saturday Only)* - Categories: "Mom's Best", "Most Original, and "Hobo's Choice." Special Prizes and coveted gift certificates to be awarded.
* If you'd like to sign up for the pie contest, you must pre-register by emailing Sarah Liston at ladyliston@msn.com

The State of New York has cut funding for programming on Governors Island. While the island will thankfully remain open, there will be no further allocation provided for entertainment on the island. This means that while the Dreamland Orchestra will be performing, the costs to cover the band, stage, dance floor, and all other expenses will not be provided by the state this year, and will depend on private donations and sponsorship. If you would like to contribute to the Jazz Age Lawn Party please email michael@dreamlandorchestra.com

-----------------------
Ferry Schedule

Ferries depart on the hour from downtown Manhattan to Governors Island:
9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Ferries return to downtown on the half hour from Governors Island to Manhattan:
10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm , 3:30pm, 4:30pm, and 5:30pm, and 6:30pm (final boat leaves at 7pm)

Governors Island Ferry
10 South Street, in lower Manhattan
Just northeast of the Staten Island Ferry
R train to Whitehall Street
www.govisland.com

(Photo courtesy of the Dorothy Parker Society)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Il Gentleman Loser (Capitolo Una)

by Graeme



I couldn’t make up my mind
if today was a good or bad one.
I stopped off
in the Gentleman Loser for a drink.
Then I’d decide.

In his book, Neuromancer, William Gibson claimed Gentleman Loser is a bar in the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis, supposedly a regular hang where console cowboys – or flash drive horsemen – access their secret Matrix.

I have never been to Boston, nor do I know Atlanta, and woefully for me, I lose my reading glasses regularly. Who is to say that either now, or sometime in our future-past, there is (or was or will be) a Gentlemen Loser in either? All I can tell for sure is – there’s one in Palermo.

Safe from the scooter-riding thieves, green Fiats and silver Audis tailing me around the Quattro Canti, and a landlord determined to confiscate my passport: set back from the shopping and financial district, through an alleyway with a window display composed of wolves and birdies, Piazza Ungheria forms an enclosed acreage of rectangle.


Broad pillars of Guli gray augment grand eight-foot arches holding up the pre-war Razionalista-style buildings. This creates an elegant walk-around hallway underneath, with a creamy marble floor from the 1840s. I ankled here from Piazza Verdi, en route to another place, a joint called EXIT: which I never ended up at. EXIT is a nightclub, and at the time an editor had me flying the world to write about bars and clubs. This was all two-and-a-half years ago, yet I haven’t written about Sicily until now. How so?

As they say there, “Camina chi pantofuli finnu a quannu non hai I scarpi.”

Translated, it means, “Walk with your slippers until you find your shoes.”

I took a seat in what felt like an open space – east to west – on a long, black leather settee, beneath sails, and right beside a very discreetly placed home bar which is taken onto the water (at the harbor I never got to). There was a twilight feel that afternoon, and my watch face became temporarily condensed by a glassy wave of jazz and blues. The color scheme for placeholders and napkins was chestnut brown and scarlet respectively. I made a note to steal one or both, and then I remembered something I overheard in Napoli, laying down my notebook.

The fixed bar, I could see, was really a shiny, silver coffin-in-the-wall, for collecting and depositing. Before finding my leather settee, I had whispered nothing and yet I’d received a handshake which felt like dipping my hand into a vice, from a man wearing Car Shoes. He brought me back an aperitivo accompanied by stuzzichini.

I scanned the menu, looking for an alcoholic cousin to the granita I’d sipped around lunchtime, at Caffè Spinnato on precinct central; anyway, I was given Tortino Piacentino (manzo, menta, orva, prezzemola, prosciutto, mozzarella, pan grattato) – Choice of Three/€4.50 – Antipasti/€4 Primi Piatti/€4 Secondi Piatti/€4-€5 Cantorni €2.50.

And then, quite politely, I requested a Fredo Negroni.