Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Destinations: New Year's Parties 2011!!

Loungerati recommends the following events for your New Year's Eve celebrations. Kick off the fun one day early on New Year's Eve Eve at The Salon's annual party. Lounging, dancing, and great performances! Read more about the history of this alternative New Year's Party here. Then head to Brooklyn for a duo of unique events. Dress to the nines at a 1920s Formal ball at the Montauk Club or treat yourself to an evening of incredible cocktails and exotic fare inspired by the travels of drinks legend Charles H. Baker, Jr. at Fort Defiance.

New Year's Eve Eve - December 30, 2010

THE SALON - New Year's Eve Eve

at Rebel NYC
Doors open and live music begins at 8:00pm

Sponsored by Hendricks Gin and Milagro Tequila

REBEL, boasts Brazilian-walnut...dance floors, numerous bars, a state of the art sound system and we now have all 3 floors (13,000sq ft!) for your dancing and lounging pleasure. 

On the Main Dance Floor:
THE GEORGE GEE SWING ORCHESTRA
featuring vocalists Hilary Gardner and John Dokes

in the Lounge:
QUEEN ESTHER & THE HOT FIVE
Grand Prize Winner, Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, 2008

THE FRIED BANANAS
Imported from Boston, this band kicks-off the BLUES ROOM at midnight - along with DJ LadyBlues, spinning until the wee hours.

MICHAEL ARENELLA TRIO
Special late night set in the VIP lounge

Dandy Wellington's MADE TO MEASURE BAND
Playing an early set on the mezzanine and a late night set on the mainstage.

In addition to live music all night long, The Salon proudly presents:

THE MINSKY SISTERS
The '20's Tap Dancing Sensation

MISS RUBY VALENTINE
The Alabaster Beauty... As seen on MAD MEN

LEGS MALONE
The girl with The Thirty-Four and a Half Inch Inseam

DANDY WELLINGTON
Emcee Extraordinaire

DJ's by Swing Remix
SPENCER WEISBOND and PAOLO LANNA will keep ya dancing all night long.

+ FREE beginner swing lesson at 8:15 by Spencer Weisbond!

Behind the bars:
ERYN REECE
Guest Mixlologist from Mayahuel

FREDO
Loungerati.com

The Salon has been sponsored by HENDRICKS GIN and MILAGRO TEQUILA! The first 100 guests to arrive at The Salon will receive a complimentary Hendricks or Milagro cocktail; doors open at 8pm and it's first-come-first-serve, so arrive early! In addition Milagro is offering free tastings of their tequilas from 10pm to midnight!

HAVE WE GOT A DEAL FOR YOU...
$20 - Early Advance Online (thru Dec 5th)
$25 - Advance Online (from Dec. 6th - Dec. 30th)
$30 - at the door (cash only)

for advance tickets and more info, go to:
http://www.thesalon.biz/

REBEL NYC
251 west 30th Street
(between 7th and 8th Ave) 

New York, NY
21+ ID required



New Year's Eve, Friday December 31st

For the Dancers and Jazz lovers

2011 Formal Ball at the Montauk Club
featuring Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra
Dinner at 7PM
Drinks & Dancing at 8:30PM - 2:00AM
$75 PER PERSON - OPEN BAR
$140 PER PERSON - DINNER & OPEN BAR

Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra perform sweet and swinging '30s/'40s era standards for your listening and dancing pleasure. Featuring The Minsky Sisters Ring in the New Year with us in the Montauk Club's historic and luxurious ballroom.

General Admission Ticket - $75 (includes open bar)
General Admission tickets are available at BrownPaperTickets.com.
There will be no tickets available at the door, so please purchase your tickets in advance!

Dinner and Open Bar Ticket - $160
*taxes and service charges included*
Enjoy dinner in the Montauk Club's dining room, including the full service open bar.
Guests who would like to dine must first purchase a General Admission ticket at BrownPaperTickets.com, then email Jen@Dreamlandorchestra.com to make your dinner reservation.

Ticket sales end on 12/30 at midnight.

The Montauk Club
25 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
www.montaukclub.com
718.638.0800


For the Cocktail Lovers

Fort Defiance Cafe and Bar in Red Hook
NEW YEAR'S EVE: An Evening with Charles H. Baker, Jr. 
St. John Frizell and his crew will be serving a five-course prix-fixe menu inspired by the travels of our favorite globetrotting adventurer of the Cocktail Age, featuring Deviled Lobster from Cat Cay, the Bahamas; the Imperial Cossack Crusta from Shanghai; the Rangoon Star Ruby from Lower-Burmah; and much more! $95 includes five courses, paired wine, and cocktails. Make reservations today!

Fort Defiance
365 Van Brunt
Brooklyn, NY
www.fortdefiancebrooklyn.com
347.453.6672

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Buon Natale! Joyeux Noël!

For Christmas we will be making an Egg Nog cocktail that Jerry Thomas made famous in How to Mix Drinks (1862):

General Harrison's Egg Nog
1 1/2 tsp of sugar
4 oz of fresh pressed apple cider
1 1/2 oz of Bourbon
1 egg

Tools: Cocktail Shaker,  Hawthorne Strainer, Goblet

For individual portion: Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker, dry shake for 5 seconds to emulsify the egg. Add ice and then shake hard until well chilled. Strain into a goblet and garnish with ground cinnamon.

According to David Wondrich's Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, A Salute in Stories And Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Tomas, Pioneer of the American Bar (2007), this cocktail was named after 1840 Presidential candidate Benjamin "Old Tippecanoe" Harrison who ran on a populist "log cabin and hard cider" platform. The Bourbon addition is relatively new, I read about this version in Dale GeGroff's  The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks (2008) and prefer a stiffer egg nog. We recommend Elijah Craig 12 Years Aged Bourbon which seems to go well in any bourbon drink I roll!

This one is a favorite version of the holiday cocktail and can be made virgin with none alcoholic cider.

All the best to your family and friends!

-The Loungerati Staff

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lounge Essentials: Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Jay Kosmas and Dushan Zaric by Jill DeGroff
Here are some last minute gift ideas for the favorite tippler in your life.

Books:


The Fine Art of Mixing Girls by Jack Newcastle. This debut novel is a mid-century comedy of cocktail proportions!
$25.00
  
Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric. The gents behind Employees Only, one of the most successful bars in New York City, share their recipes, wisdom, and new twists on old classic cocktails using fresh ingredients, juice, and homemade syrups.
$24.99

Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar by Jill De Groff. Saloon artist Jill De Groff captures the essence of the spirits community with a unique collection of caricatures of  barkeepers, barflies, and booze hounds.
$24.95

The Home Bar:

Whisk(e)y Lover Gift Set
The Whisk(e)y Lover gift set by Teroforma
Ideal for enjoying that special dram Glasses: 8 Fl. oz | 2 1/2" Tall // Stones: 3/4-7/8" The Set includes 2 mouthblown Avva tumblers (dishwasher safe) and 6 Whisky Stones.  
$60.00 

Colonial Ties Gift Basket from Barkeeper Silver Lake

Eric Alperin of The Varnish in Los Angeles creates the cocktail aficionado's dream gift basket. The Mixologist Cocktail Boxes include the recipe and the specific brand of spirit that the Mixologist utilize in manufacturing their cocktails.

(1 Bottle Appleton Jamaican Rum Reserve, 1 Bottle Old Overholt Rye, 1 Bottle Absente Absinthe, 1 Bottle Regans Orange Bitters, 1 Bottle Fever Tree Club Soda, 4 Brown Sugar Cubes, 1 Peeler, 1 Bar Spoon with Disk, 2 Old Fashioned Glasses)

$100.00 


Beefeater Winter Edition Gin (Limited)
(80 Proof -  available only in select markets including New York and San Francisco) Developed by Beefeater’s Master Distiller Desmond Payne, Beefeater Winter Edition is specially formulated for sipping on cold winter nights, with traditional seasonal flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pine shoots. In addition, there is a hint of Sevilla orange peels.  These flavors are said to enhance the piney flavor of juniper, the most vital botanical in all premium gin. Perfect in winter punches!
$20.00 at Astor Liquors


Hot Apple Gin
1 oz Beefeater Winter Edition Gin
3 oz Hot Pressed Apple Juice

Pour Gin in cup a toddy cup and add hot pressed apple cider. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Destinations: The Sunday Show bids Farewell at Ella Lounge Dec 19th

Kiki Valentine bids adieu to the Sunday Show
Our friend Kiki Valentine sends word of a great burlesque extravaganza happening at Ella Lounge on Sunday December 19th. The East Village staple "Sunday Show" is having it's final show after a two year run with an incredible cast. This is can't miss - so get on down!

Kiki's press release:

Two years after the inception of The Sunday Show (www.sundayshownyc.com), the production bids adieu with a theme of "American Dream".  Celebrating the accomplishments of the show, the holidays and more with a night of show-stopping performances by one of NYC's most incredible all-star casts! Saying goodbye is never an easy thing, but we're not going out without some fireworks.  And there will be surprises.

- Legs Malone "The girl with the 34 1/2" inseam"
- Calamity Chang  "The Asian Sexation"
- Coco La Pearl "The world in a grain of sand"
- Grace Gotham "Vaudeville en Vogue"
- Justina Flash "Hoops aglow"
- Leta Le Noir - "Ginger hair down to there"
- It's A Little Stormy - "What A Wonderful World"
- Juliet Jeske - "Holiday Princess Sunshine"
- DeWitt Fleming Jr. - "Tap-tastic songster!"
- DJ Blacky 2 as "Mr. Muhammadisnotsobad,  the sensitive terrorist"
- and Kiki Valentine.

Doors at 8pm.
The announcement will be made before the performance downstairs begins.
Upstairs: the party*

*THE SUNDAY SHOW will be followed by, portraits, vino, live music and performances by fire performer Coco La Pearl. Upright bass by Matt Brandau, Brad Ross on piano and the superstar singer/dancer Dewitt Fleming 10 to 11. Or until we're all tipsy enough to carol. 

MUST BE 21 TO ENTER.  This is NOT "Burlesque" starring Cher & Xtina and will contain situations the Motion Picture Association of America clearly would NEVER allow on screen!

Ella Lounge
9 Avenue A between 1st & 2nd Streets
Attire: Sunday Show Best
Doors 8pm
$10
Raffle prizes include the bubbly, the sweet, the artsy, the coveted and a lap dance.

sundayshownyc@gmail.com
www.sundayshownyc.com

Monday, December 13, 2010

Destinations: The Winter Ball at the Green Building, Dec 18th

How about an old time battle of the big bands, a gorgeous wooden dance floor, and an excuse to put on your finest attire? Hit up Michael Arenella's Winter Ball at the Green Building in Brooklyn this weekend for your vintage fix.
The Winter Ball
SPONSORED IN PART BY PROHIBITION DISTILLERY
Saturday Dec. 18th, 2010
Doors 8PM, Music 9PM
 
Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra and The George Gee Swing Orchestra partner up to present December's hottest holiday dance event.
 
At Brooklyn's most enchanting little speakeasy, the Green Building, a 19th-century warehouse nestled along the banks of the Gowanus Canal, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
 
A most festive assortment of winter follies:
- Grace Gotham - burlesque beauty
- Gin Minsky - 20s tap sensation
Plus -
- Special surprises to be announced!
 
- Special holiday cocktails created and crafted by Court & Spark
- A tasty variety of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and treats will be available if you're feeling peckish.
 
The Green Building
just a short walk from the following major subway lines:

- F/G to Carroll Street
- R to Union Street

Directions can be found with Hopstop.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Destinations: Holiday Spirits Bazaar - Dec 11th


This Saturday evening head on over the the Green Building in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn for a unique spirited events that combines tasting liquors with holiday shopping. Plus, Fette Sau will be serving it's pork goodness to fill your stomach while you taste!

The Press release from Selena Ricks of the Dizzy Fizz:
NYC’s cocktail insider The Dizzy Fizz is selecting the finest beverage brands, booze authors, purveyors of party accessories, craft designers, and more to participate in the first-ever Holiday Spirits Bazaar!
  • TASTE spirited holiday drinks and party treats
  • SHOP for unique books and gifts for your favorite imbibers
  • GET INSPIRED to host an impressive holiday bash of your own!
A portion of proceeds will benefit the Museum of the American Cocktail. A silent auction, featuring original artwork by Jill DeGroff and more, will also benefit the museum.
Live DJ throughout the night to keep the good times flowing!

Don’t miss out on this fantastic one-night tasting and shopping extravaganza!
MUST BE 21+ TO ATTEND. Please drink responsibly.

Sponsors include: Denizen Rum, Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch, Tempus Fugit Spirits, Vermont Gold & White Vodka, Cockspur Rum, Classic & Vintage Spirits, Purity Vodka, Denizen Rum, Scorpion Mezcal, Redemption Rye, Don Q Rum, Hudson Whiskey, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Pipeline Brands, Highland Park Single Malt Scotch, Chairman's Rum, Castries Peanut Liqueur and Innis & Gunn Cask-Aged Beer.

Green Building
450 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Get tickets here!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Repeal Day!! Three Cheers to Utah!

Party like it is 1933!
Seventy seven years ago today, the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution became law. This piece of legislation repealed the 18th Amendment's Prohibition of alcohol. The last state to ratify the amendment in the State conventions, thus passing the 3/4 majority required to amend the Constitution under Article 5, was Utah! So three cheers to Utah!
XXI Amendment

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
Today is also the Fourth anniversary of Loungerati. In 2006 as the lounge website Tommywhitetie.com was closed down by its' founder, a select group of Loungers refused to go quietly. It wasn't last call yet, and there was an open bar of opportunity and ideas. Loungerati was born on a cocktail napkin at Brooklyn Social in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. It continues to serve as an outlet to those who enjoy Lounge culture, the sporting life, exquisite cocktails, classic music, and a good time!

(photo courtesy of Metromix)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Barfly's Beat: Weather Up Tribeca

The Kensington Fix
Tonight, I received a text from one of the partners behind WeatherUp Tribeca - the bar would be opening to the public at 7pm.

WeatherUp Tribeca is the Manhattan branch of Katheryn Weatherup's eponymous Brooklyn cocktail den.  Katheryn's keeps her signature white tiles, square yellow lamps, and intimate olive colored leather banquettes, that made her Prospect Heights bar reminiscent of a Paris metro stop. The noticeable difference is spacial. WUT is about twice the size of the Prospect Heights original. The long marble topped bar is much friendlier for large parties and gatherings. There is also ample seating.

Richard Boccato of Dutch Kills is also on board this venture. In addition to designing the cocktail list, he adds his singular devotion to ice into the mix. Loungerati attended the "Friends and Family" night several weeks ago and based on what we saw, awarded the Weather Up the "Don't Bruise the Ice Award" for best ice program of 2010. They have an in house ice block machine - take that Kold Draft!

To help wash down those Boccato's drinks, WUT will be serving fresh oysters and caviar plates as well as other bar snacks to pair with your libations. So celebrate Repeal Day at the newest addition to New York's stellar cocktail scene. Order the mouth watering Kensington Fix and a plate of super fresh oysters. You deserve it.

Loungerati at Weather Up Tribeca (photo by Kathryn Weatherup)
Kensington Fix
by Richard Boccato
1 oz Plymouth Gin
1 oz Amaro CioCiaro
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup

Tools:  Mixing tin, highball glass, 1oz/3/4oz jigger, swiss peeler, crushed ice

Combine ingredients in a mixing tin, add ice and shake until well chilled, strain into a frosted highball glass, add crushed ice, and garnish with lemon peel.

Weather Up Tribeca
159 Duane Street
New York, NY 10013
No Phone

Check out a slide show of  WUT on Grubstreet

In Memoriam: Elaine Kaufman


Elaine Kaufman 1929 - 2010 (Photo courtesy of NY Post)
The work week was winding down when the call was received. The “quarter to five call on a Friday is rarely a good thing,” I said aloud. It was my pal and Loungerati founder Fredo informing me that Elaine Kaufman had passed away. I locked up shop, grabbed my scarf and topcoat and walked down the middle of a freshly paved street, still fresh with the scent of tar. A half block later, I was in front of Elaine’s.  
     
Grace Gotham arrives at Elaine's December 3rd
Outside, I met Grace Gotham who years earlier (with her husband, Governor’s Island Coordinator Mr. Gotham) had first introduced me to dear Elaine, over one rather very memorable plate of linguine with clam sauce, served perfectly al dente. Though big names and the publishing elite made Elaine’s famous, as the Gotham’s and my wife and I had discovered, you didn’t have to be a celebrity to pass her personal test and join her circle. The door of Elaine’s was locked last night but Grace and I were welcomed in and sat amongst the privileged nine people allowed in for the first hour of operation.

China Girl and Eff at Elaine's
We saddled up at the elbow bend of her 25 foot mahogany bar. I snatched a Rusty Nail, Grace ordered champagne. We promptly joined in on tales about Elaine and all of her magic. I learned of one patron who was recently hauled off to an awaiting ambulance.  He ordered a refill, using his cell phone, while in the stretcher. One of Elaine’s waiters stepped outside to the double parked ambulance and served him up. Now THAT’S al fresco! Incidentally, after the ER visit, the patron returned for a late supper. I learned how decades earlier, when Marcello Mastroianni met Elaine, he too had the same perfectly al dente linguine. 

 
Since that first introduction, Elaine presided over such memorable events in my life as the first dinner I shared with my now wife, phase four of the bachelor party (kissing only the most handsome of the lot and making a point of telling us that!), and an anniversary dinner or two. When Elaine learned of my love for swing, she insisted we only be seated at Noel Coward’s old table. Hell, she even appeared in my wedding announcement  (and saw it before I did!). She opened up her living room to family and friends. Elaine was New York.
Here's to you Elaine!
But this particular night, was different. With news vans surrounding the joint, floodlights blazing, and folks being interviewed inside and out, there was but one thing missing. Rest sweetly, Elaine.

-Eff and the Loungerati staff

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Salon's New Year's Eve Eve - A Lounge and Swing Tradition

In December of 1999, swing music promoter "Lo-Fi" Lee Sobel threw a legendary party at New York's Webster Hall. The date was Dec 30th, two days for the beginning of a new decade, and it seemed like the whole city packed the historic ballroom in their best 1940s attire. He dubbed it the "New Year's Eve Eve Swing Ball."

In later years, Lee kept the party going at the gorgeous art deco Supper Club ballroom and it typically featured as many bands as there were bars, on two floors and multiple rooms. New Year' Eve Eve became the scene's must attend event. It was a time when retro/vintage culture aficionados, loungers, swing dancers, rockabilly scenesters, and everyone in between put on their finest duds and reconnected before the New Year. 

It also turned into a real money maker for Lee's production company because it was regarded a special holiday gathering for everyone in the community. People who never went out made it a point to attend the Swing Ball. However, as the retro scene splintered and evolved, the Swing Balls came to an end.

We caught up with Lee recently and he was pleased to see the tradition continuing. I asked him what prompted him to choose NYEE as the night to stage such a party instead of New Year's Eve.
 "It's cheaper to rent a venue the night before NYE when the clubs clean up and expect to make the most money for any single night. They generally don't have anything booked the night before because 'mainstream' people shoot their wad on NYE and don't usually go out the night before."
The event may have been born from convenience and an eye on keeping costs low, but ten years later, it has become much more.

Lo-Fi Lee is currently working on a book about the retro movement of the 90's which bubbled up from several scenes including lounge, ska and rockabilly - the pinnacle of this was the swing scene which brought the music, cocktails, dressing up, and dancing together into one beautiful package and was embraced by the mainstream for a few years before we turned the corner on the new millennium. 

The Salon, a party instigated by brothers Patrick and Andre Soluri picked up the New Year's Eve Eve mantle in 2006 throwing a dazzling fete on the west side that featured the Todd Londnigan Big Band, belly dancing, burlesque, and a farewell toast to the tommywhitetie.com lounge website. It was to be the last party for a while until the brothers joined forces with former Piano Store producers Prohibition productions and Loungerati to resurrected the event in 2009. What followed was the year's best attended party that packed two floors of the iconic Players Club on Gramercy Park.  
"We are not line around the block type people." exclaimed Andre when he surveyed the hundreds queuing up to get into the historic mansion. The line wrapped around the block to Park Avenue.
This year, The Salon continues the tradition at a new venue, called Rebel NYC (which is owned no less by the same group behind the Webster Hall). A fitting end cap to a decade of New Year's Eve Eve parties but certainly not an end to  the biggest night of the year.

On the bill for The Salon NYEE are special performances by:

The George Gee Swing Orchestra
featuring vocalists Hilary Gardner and John Dokes

Queen Esther & the Hot Five
Grand Prize Winner, Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, 2008


The Minsky Sisters
The '20's Tap Dancing Sensation


The Fried Bananas
Late night blues dance


Burlesque by
Miss Ruby Valentine
The Alabaster Beauty as seen on AMC's MadMen


Legz Malone
The Gal with the thirty four and a half inseam!

Dandy Wellington
Emcee Extraordinaire
 

Cocktails by Eryn Reece of Mayahuel 
and Fredo of Loungerati

Plus DJs by Swing Remix
Spencer Weisbond and Paolo Lanna

New Year's Eve Eve Salon 2009
The Salon's signature commitment is equal billing for quality performances, dancing,  AND cocktail culture. This is quite fitting for a party that Patrick began 11 years ago while in graduate school at the University of Louisville in Kentucky - home of Bourbon Whiskey!

In that spirit of bon vivant, Loungerati's Fredo is quite honored to once again be included in The Salon's 2010 NYEE party as their in house cocktailian. On the libation front, we have special guest bartender Eryn Reece of the award winning Mayahuel cocktail bar joining me behind the stick.

This is the lounge and swing scene's biggest night out, so get dressed up, come see old friends, and meet new ones.

The Salon's Annual New Year's Eve Eve
at Rebel NYC Club
251 West  30th Street 
(btwn 7th and 8th Avenues)
New York, New York
21 and over please
Buy Tickets here
$20 - Early Advance Online (thru Dec 5th)
$25 - Advance Online (from Dec. 6th - Dec. 29th)
$30
- at the door (cash only)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Angolo Di Modo: Blind Barber - Fine and Dandy Pop-Up Shop December 4th & 5th

 
The guys at FineandDandyShop.com are opening as pop up shop with our good friends at Blind Barber so of course that weekend is going to Dapper. To top off all the Dapper wears Dandy Wellington and The Made to Measure Band will be on hand to provide best in Dapper entertainment.

Dandy Wellington and The Made to Measure Band + Fine and Dandy Shop  + Blind Barber
Sunday December 5th
339 East 10th Street btw Ave A and Ave B
Doors at 6:00
Music at 6:30

Dress Code: Dapper

FREE

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Best of Lounge 2010 - Winners

Best Lounge Event Jazz Age Lawn Party at Governor's Isand
The Loungerati readers have voted via PollDaddy for the 2010 Best of Lounge, and the results are in:

Best New Bar/Lounge: PAINKILLER
Honorable mention: Lani Kai, Dram Bar, Summit Bar, Weather Up Tribeca, Comstock Saloon

Best Veteran Bar/Lounge: CLOVER CLUB
Honorable Mention: Employees Only, Death & Company, Milk & Honey, Pegu Club, Dutch Kills, Zig Zag Cafe

Best Barkeeper (male): DAMON DYER (CLOVER CLUB)
Honorable Mention: Guiseppe Gonzalez (Painkiller), Brad Farran (Clover Club), Jason Littrell (Death & Co.), Maxwell Britten (Freemans), Michael Neff (Ward III), Abraham Hawkins (Dutch Kills)

Best Barkeeper (female): FRANKY MARSHALL (CLOVER CLUB) 
Honorable Mention: Lynnette Marrero (Peels), Karin Stanley (Dutch Kills), Jane Elkins (Lambs Club), Eryn Reece (Mayahuel), Misty Kalfoken (Drink - Boston), Gina Chersevani (PS7 - DC)

Best Burlesque Act/Show: THE MINSKY SISTERS
Honorable Mention: Grace Gotham, Medianoche Burlesqua, Kiki Valentine's Sunday Show, Miss Tickle, Madame Rosebud, Bea B. Heart's Mimed Striptease

Best Lounge Event: JAZZ AGE LAWN PARTY AT GOVERNOR'S ISLAND
Honorable Mention: Wit's End at Flute Bar, Liberty Belle Spectacular, DOV & Midnight Follies - City Lights at Players Club, Halloween Eve's Masquerade at Green Building

Viva La Musica Award: Best Jazz/Swing/Lounge Band: MICHAEL ARENELLA & HIS DREAMLAND ORCHESTRA
Honorable Mention: Drew Nugent & Midnight Society, Grandpa Musselman & His Syncopators, Queen Esther & J Walter Hawkes, JC Hopkins Biggish Band, Amis Amie, Matthew Piazzi & The Debonairs

Best Dressed Lounger: DON SPIRO OF WIT'S END
Honorable Mention: Dandy Wellington of NY Dandy, Michelle Coursey aka The Lady In Red, Roddy Caravella of Lindy Hop Allstars, Reggie "Mr. Swank" Allen, Maxwell Britten of Freemans, Nicole Desmond of the Rhum Rhum Room
 
Damon Dyer mixing at Lani Kai
David A. Embury Award: Best Cocktail of 2010: GIN LANE ROYALE PUNCH Maxwell Britten, Freemans
Honorable Mention: The Grass Kilt (Brian Miller), Chinese Bootlegger Punch (Payman Bahmani), Kentucky Buck (Erick Castro), The Concertina (Richard Boccato), Isle of Islay Swizzle (Joe Swifka and Julie Reiner)
 
Marcello Mastroianni Award: Lounger Number OneTHE SENATOR of LOUNGERATI
Honorable Mention: Jack Newcastle, J Walter Hawkes, Gina Haase, Payman Bahmani

Editor and Staff Picks:

Best Seat in the House: BACK BAR SEAT AT FREEMANS
Honorable mention: F14 at Clover Club, The dugout at Painkiller, Bar Seat at Milk & Honey, The "Regular" at Employees Only


Most Sought After Ingredient for the Home Bar: BLACK MAPLE HILL 23 YR SINGLE BARREL RYE
Honorable Mention: AB Smeby Bitters, Mescalero Mezcal, Trader Tiki Cinnamon Syrup, Creme de Violette,

Best Barfood: WARD III  - MINI PULLED DUCK SLIDERS
Honorable Mention: Lani Kai - Crab Wontons, Prime Meats - the Cheeseburger, Mayahuel - Pork Belly with Mango salsa, Fort Defiance - Muffelata, Keens Steakhouse - Pub Mutton Chop

Best Cocktail for the Road: THE CONCERTINA (RICHARD BOCCATO, DUTCH KILLS)
Honorable Mention: Nicosia (Phil Ward, Mayahuel), Negroni Swizzle (Guiseppe Gonzalez, Painkiller), Black Pearl (Joe Swifka, Lani Kai), St. Columba (Ward III)

Best Saloon: WARD III (NEW YORK)
Honorable Mention: Henry Public (Brooklyn), The Richardson (Brooklyn), Breslin Bar at Ace Hotel (New York), Comstock Saloon (San Francisco)

Best of the Internationals: BLYTHSWOOD SQUARE HOTEL BAR (GLASGOW)
Honorable Mention: Rick's (Edinburgh), 69 Colbrooke Lane (London), Curio Parlor (Paris), Experimental Cocktail Club (Paris), Rheingold (Berlin)

Best of the NY Hotel Bars: FORTY FOUR AT ROYALTON HOTEL
Honorable Mention: Lambs Club at Chatwal Hotel, Bemelmans Bar at Carlyle Hotel, King Cole Bar at St. Regis Hotel, The Breslin at Ace Hotel, The Blue Bar at the Algonquin (natch)

Best Dive aka "The Gutter Award": JIMMY'S CORNER (NEW YORK)
The Patriot Bar (New York), O'Connors (Brooklyn), Hanks Saloon (Brooklyn), The Rusty Knot (New York)

Don't Bruise the Ice Award: WEATHER UP TRIBECA (NEW YORK)
Honorable Mention:  B Flat (New York), Dutch Kills (Queens), Death & Company (New York), Little Branch (New York)

On the hit list to visit in 2011: The Varnish in LA, PS7 in DC, Glasgow for drinks with Mal Spence, Eastern Standard in Boston, Tales of the Cocktail Part Trois, The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, and so much more.

Please join us on December 2nd for Hawaiian Holiday cocktails at Lani Kai in New York. It is also Loungerati's fourth birthday.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Best of Lounge 2010 - Spotlight on Kansas City


This year we are adding a spotlight on the lounge/bar scene in an up and coming city that is not New York. Kansas City has a rich history of jazz music and lounging dating back a hundred years. This year's Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition (GKCBC) brought this former cocktail heavyweight back into the light.

In addition, it is home to The Senator, a founding member of Loungerati and our man between coasts. Senator is a newspaper publisher, a former big band crooner, a Terapin pigskin pugilist, ex-tavern/restaurant manager, and pillar of the lounge community. He is also the former Mayor of Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village and regular at Daddy-O - which lends Mickey Rourke circa 1983 gravitas to his Lounge credentials.

Best Neighborhood Bar: Cafe Cedar, Parkville, MO
Café Cedar is Parkville's version of the Bermuda Triangle, only way weirder — basically an old printer's shed retrofitted into a faux riverboat. The décor consists mostly of items hoarded by the building's landlord in an aborted attempt to create a museum seasoned with various tsotchkes from around the Middle East. 
The menu is all over the map, offering everything from fried chicken to falafel; the staff is just as diverse, populated by Park University women's soccer players from Hungary, Australia and a few places in between. The owners — an affable Jordanian man and a pretty Mexican woman — work seven days a week to tend to their regulars, a colorful cast that includes eccentric townies, curmudgeonly old-timers, transplanted East Coasters, recent retirees, hot hairdressers, African exchange students, military men from Leavenworth, lawyers, local politicians, musicians, struggling artists and millionaires. And while most bars consider the topics of politics and religion off-limits, they are de rigueur here, turning the three-sided bar into a local stand-in for the chamber of the U.N. General Assembly. Luckily, it's also the type of place where the night almost always ends with just one more round, a big group hug and an order of hummus to go. "Printed without permission from The Pitch Weekly".

Winner of Best New KC Bar - R- Bar (photo credit M. Sinclair)
 
Best Cocktail: The Old Fashioned at R-Bar
Legend has it that President Harry Truman and wife Bess had a particular dislike for Washington D.C. For one, everyone seemed a lot more pretentious and stuck up than the "common folk" they knew back in Independence, Missouri and when it came to cocktail hour, the White House bar staff failed to show the Show Me state's first couple anything worth writing the fam back at home about. Too polite to complain outright, the Trumans kept a tight lip, mustered a smile and said the drink was "fine" whenever asked about their old fashioned cocktails. After a while, however, the guy who dropped the big one and fired MacArthur was unable to remain tight lipped much longer and complained about the "weak" drinks. Out of ideas, the White House staff decided to dispense with the bar fruit and sugar and just poured two glasses of straight bourbon over ice and handed them over to Harry and Bess. Finally, Bess said, they had a real cocktail in their hands. R-Bar in Kansas City's iconic (re: abandoned and kinda creepy) West Bottoms district dispenses with the fruit, but keeps the bitters...in a way that would have made the Truman's very happy indeed. 

Best Barkeeper (female): Samantha Gross, Cafe Cedar 
"Sam", the striker for Park University's women's soccer team, hails from Australia. Cuter than sin by any international standard and with a dry, knowing wit that translates into any language, she really isn't the best mixologist in the city but then she's the first one to admit that accent is everything.

Best Barkeeper (male): Sean Moriarity, R-Bar  
Former City Tavern Bar Manager / Wine Director Mark "Senator" Vasto: 
"When we were fine tuning our concept of what I wanted to see in a Kansas City bar (and was willing to argue ad nauseaum over with the restaurant owner during my reign) at (since defunct) City Tavern, one bartender's name kept coming up -- Sean Moriarity from Jazz Kitchen.”

Jazz Kitchen is one of the city's best bars, no doubt, but Sean had been there for seven years and it really wasn't his type of bar if you asked me. I mean, the guy was wearing a vest and had a watch fob in a place that encouraged people to write on the walls and bar with black markers. So after a few scouting missions, we put together a package lucrative enough to lure him away and he carved out his niche at the far end of the bar at City Tavern. He's a true saloonkeeper in the wipe-the-bar-top-off-with-a- towel-after-every-drink-served kind of way. He's the kind of guy, that reads the newspaper or a good book before his shift -- which he always showed up a good half-hour early for -- and lays off the sauce during work hours. Admittedly, he's not a 'volume' bartender...his strength lies in his ability to converse with customers, share stories and dedicate some time and effort into pouring a drink for them.

Now, I know a lot about the business of booze in my own right...I mean, I invented the 'Len Dawson' cocktail ("mmmm...tastes just like Len Dawson!") but together he and I collaborated like a gin-fueled Lennon and McCartney...our recipe for the Moscow Mule won the 'Best of' at The Pitch and double handedly returned that drink to the KC scene. He also stood with me in my futile fights with ownership to get rid of the clock behind the bar ("It's like having a picture of 'Mother,'" he quipped when asked by the bar's money men) and was someone you could trust with the keys to the safe. 

With the possible exception of Fredo, (my vanquished opposition at the now infamous Greenwich Village Martini summit of '98), I never met a guy who knew more about spirits and their history than Sean did. To wit, this classic exchange overheard at the bar between him and an inquisitive Cosmopolitan imbibing lady: "What's 'Triple Sec?'" (beat) "Three times the normal amount of Sec." 

Joy Jacobs, owner of R-Bar, couldn't have made a better hire. 

Best Bar/Lounge Newcomer: R-Bar (enough already)  

Viva La Musica Award for Best Jazz/Swing/Lounge Event: Foundation Day Jazz
Kansas City, one of the principal cradles of jazz along with New York, New Orleans and Chicago, bred a number of nationally significant big bands and a legion of talented soloists, who revolutionized jazz in America. These musicians belonged to Local No. 627, one of a handful of African-American musicians unions affiliated with the American Federation of Musicians.

Established in 1917, Local 627, then known as the “Colored Musicians Union,” operated as a social center, a clearinghouse for engagements, and as a vehicle for grievances against unfair practices by booking agents and bandleaders. The jazz style pioneered and fostered by the members of Local 627 developed along original lines influenced by, yet unique from, the traditions of New Orleans, Chicago and New York.

Today, the tradition jams on at the Mutual Musicians Foundation, located on the former site of Local 627 at 1823 Highland Ave., in the heart of the historic 18th and Vine District. The Mutual Musicians Foundation, Inc., originally incorporated to manage the building and assets of Local 627, continued operating the building as a social club for musicians and fans after the merger with Local 34 in 1970. In 1979, the Foundation was prominently featured in Bruce Ricker’s film, The Last of the Blue Devils. A National Historic Landmark, the building is also entered in the National Register of Historic Places and the Kansas City Landmarks Commission Register.

As they have since 1930, musicians gather at the Foundation Friday and Saturday nights after midnight to jam into the early morning hours. For the past two years, KC's KCUR 89.3 FM has broadcast "12 O'clock Jump" -- a weekly one hour jazz, blues and comedy variety show, broadcast every Saturday at midnight which celebrates Kansas City’s jazz heritage and the after-hours jams that have made the Mutual Musicians Foundation the late-night place to be since the 30s.  

Best Dressed Lounger/ Lounger Number One: Cristina Worden 
A multi-crowned Argentinean beauty queen, Cristina Worden is now more locally famous in the Kansas City area as the muse and inspiration behind "Piropos" and "Piropos Grille" -- the region's only Argentinean steakhouse restaurant chain. Cristina Worden is, quite simply, lounge royalty. The kind of woman whose radiance literally lights up a room when she enters, she is always meticulously made up, dressed like a Hollywood legend and rocks the Chanel #5 in ways that would make Ernest Beaux blush.  While others around her -- her husband Gary, for instance -- struggle to keep up with the Spanish phrases muttered on Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer repeats, Cristina regulates dinner or cocktail conversations in Spanish, English, French, Italian and Argentinean dialect with ease. And if you think she'll tap out early with a yawn and wave of her crown-worthy jewelry around midnight -- think again. Cristina doesn't keep up with party-goers -- she sets their bar and as the night progresses, far surpasses them. In Buenos Aires she'd just be getting started by the time Kansas City shutters, but that's OK...she never pushes it or loses control. And if you're one of those lucky enough to rent out a room at the Worden's premium bed and breakfast in Parkville or a lounger who somehow gains entry to her home's next morning Buenos Aires breakfast show, you can simply count yourself among the lounge elite because it really doesn't get any better in polite society than that.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Destinations: Loungerati Holiday Cocktails - Hawaiian Style Dec 2nd

Aloha Loungers,

Loungerati teams up with our gracious host Julie Reiner at SoHo's newest cocktail destination, Lani Kai, for a Holiday Liquid Luau, and to celebrate four years of Lounging, Life, and Libations.

There will be Loungerati drink specials, world class cocktails, a fireplace, and delicious Hawaiian food.

Dress your Lounge best and bring the liver too. Please mention "Loungerati" to the hostess to get in.

See you there! Please RSVP to loungers at loungerati dot com or on Facebook.

The Loungerati Staff

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What We're Drinking: Averna Amaro in Cocktails


Tuesdays with Mole Cocktail
In the west of Sicily, just outside the town of Caltanissetta, across the Salso river, and rolling golden hills is the Abbey of Santo Spirito.  Like the neighboring town that was first settled in 406 BC, the abbey is rich with history. For centuries the monks treasured a secret formula for their liqueur.  In 1854 the friars of the Benedictine Order that operated the abbey, awarded their "patrone" Salvatore Averna the secret recipe for their proprietary elixir - an herbal spirit that would become iconic Averna Amaro.

Don Averna, clearly knowing he had a real blessing on his hands, formed the Fratelli Averna in 1868 and began making Averna Amaro. Salvatore's son Francesco, however, is credited for expanding the brand in the early years and began distributing the award winning spirit throughout the continent.  Averna became Sicily's first licensed spirit. To this day, the company is still run by the Averna family.

Averna is distilled from a blend of flowers, herbs, dried fruits, citrus rinds, and licorice. After the key ingredients are soaked in neutral grain alcohol, then caramel is added. The resulting amaro has a complex but unique taste that is full bodied with a bitter sweet finish.

Typically, amari such as Averna were considered digestivi (digestives or after dinner drinks) in Italian culture. However, as the mixology renaissance continues and bartenders expand their palette of base and modifiers, amari are gaining renewed popularity.

One of my favorite cocktails that uses Averna Amaro was created by my friend Damon Dyer for the Averna cocktail competition held in Taormina, Sicily in 2008:
Tuesdays with Mole
by Damon Dyer
1oz Gosling's Black Seal rum (I used Cruzan Black Strap)
1 oz VSOP cognac (I used Remi Martin)
3/4 oz Averna Amaro
1/2 oz  lemon juice
1/2 oz demerara syrup
one egg white
Bittermen's Xocolatl Mole bitters

Damon's instructions: "Shake with large cubes, after 5 seconds, stop, and hand the shaker to the nearest attractive woman, let her shake it for another 10 seconds. Trust me. Strain into a coupe or footed sour glass. Drop 5-6 drops of Bittermen's Xocolatl Mole bitters on top of foam and run a thin straw through them."
Damon's commentary on the flavor profile: "The recipe specs are fairly straight ahead. The rum and cognac are spirits that play well together, while the lemon acts simply to separate the Averna's earthy complexity from its caramel sweetness. The egg white, meanwhile, softens any hard edges, and brings the amaro's aromas to the top"

I would add one modification to the above, dry shake the ingredients first and then add ice.
Where to get it: Clover Club in Brooklyn or Lani Kai in SoHo when Damon is rolling drinks and preferably on a Tuesday.

- Fredo

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Best of Lounge 2010 - Voting Begins!

Liberty Belle Spectacular July 4th
Please take Loungerati's Best of Lounge survey 2010:





We have ten categories open to voters:
  • Best New Bar/Lounge
  • Best Veteran Bar/Lounge
  • Best Barkeeper (male)
  • Best Barkeeper (female)
  • Best Burlesque Act
  • Best Lounge Event 
  • Best Dressed Lounger
  • Marcello Mastroianni Award: Lounger Number One
  • Viva La Music Award: Best Jazz/Swing/Lounge Band
  • David A. Embury Award: Best Cocktail of 2010
Additional categories will be voted by the Loungerati editors and contributors.
They include:
  • Best Saloon
  • Best Barfood
  • Best Seat in the House
  • Best Cocktail for the Road
  • Best of the Internationals
  • Best Hotel Bar
  • Best Dive aka the Gutter Award
  • Most Sought After Ingredient for the Home Bar
  • Don't Bruise The Ice Award for Premier Ice Program
Lastly, we will also be featuring an up and coming lounge worthy city that is not New York. This year it will be Kansas City which was legendary for jazz and whiskey joints. Loungerati Editor, The Senator will be rounding up his Best of Lounge from his adopted city.

Cheers!

The Loungerati Staff

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What We're Drinking: Satan's Whiskers for All Hallows Eve

When I read about the Satan's Whiskers in Harry Craddock's legendary Savoy Cocktail Book
(1930) several years ago I thought what a perfect drink for Halloween. For one it has a friggin' great  name. Second, it is orange in color, and third, the proportions are equal parts which are very easy to remember.

To the purist, it is a fancy version of the Bronx cocktail with orange curacao and orange bitters. To the layman, it is an orange flavored cocktail reminiscent of a vintage New York City street drink called the  Orange Julius - only spiked. Ice cold and potent, perfect for the fires of hell.

There are two variations of the Satan's Whiskers: "Curled" and "Straight."Real aficionados actually bother to ask for one or the other. The Curled calls for a curacao like a Cointreau or Combier Liquer d'Orange, straight is higher end with Grand Marnier.  Contrary to what you might think, the Curled version is my favorite iteration. It is lighter than the "Straight" which means I can have more than one of these bad boys.

Satan's Whiskers (Curled)
Satan's Whiskers

1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz sweet vermouth 
1/2 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/2 oz Cointreau (for Curled) or Grand Marnier (for Straight)
1 dash of Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters
1 dash Regan's Orange bitters

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer, Jigger, Swiss Peeler

Method: Combine ingredients in mixing tin, add ice and shake fr 10-15 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with orange twist. We recommend a clean crisp London Dry gin like Plymouth for this libation. Hendricks also works very well.

Where to get it: Louis 649 in NYC or Clover Club on Brooklyn

- Fredo

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Destinations: Halloween Eve 2010

There are plenty of "lounge" worthy events this Halloween weekend. However, we suggest you head on over to these jazz age themed masquerades from our friends Michael Arenella in Brooklyn and Wit's End in Manhattan.

The Halloween Eve Masquerade
The Green Building (450 Union Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn)
Saturday, October 30th, 2010
9:00PM - late.
$20 Advance (available here )
$25 Door

Join
Michael Arenella & His Hot Dreamland Eight the night before Halloween, and rub elbows with other glamourous ghouls...

At Brooklyn's most enchanting little speakeasy, the Green Building, a 19th-century warehouse nestled along the banks of the Gowanus Canal, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

We are pleased to present a hauntingly swell cast of characters for the night's entertainment:

- The Minsky Sisters - world renowned '20s tap duo
- Grace Gotham - burlesque sensation
- Special musical guests Drew Nugent & The Mindnight Society
Plus -
- Plenty of room to dance on our real-wood Dreamland Dance Floor
- Cocktails served by expert mixologist Fredo from Loungerati and Henry Lopez of Court & Spark
- Costume contests
- A tasty variety of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and treats will be available if you're feeling peckish.
- Exotic pumpkin and gourd exhibiton.
- And more to be announced!

Michael Arenella & His Hot Dreamland Eight will rouse up the ghosts of yore while you dance and drink up your tinctures pure.

This event will sell out - be sure to get your tickets today at Brownpapertickets.com!

Wit's End Presents: 2nd Annual Black Cat Masquerade
Flute bar (205 W54th Street, NY, NY)
October 30th 7:30pm - midnight

Join Wit's End and the Dorothy Parker Society for the hottest, spookiest, and jazziest Hallowe'en celebration you can handle! Hallowe'en is our favorite holiday of the year, and to celebrate, we bring you the hot jazz stylings of NYC favorites THE HOT SARDINES!!

-FREE Dance Lesson : 830pm, band 9pm
-Vintage Cocktail Menu
-Win Fabulous Prizes Playing our Vintage Hallowe'en Games!


In addition to this fabulous lineup, the Black Cat Masquerade is also the launch party for the third issue of Zelda : The Magazine of the Vintage Nouveau!! (http://www.zeldamag.com/) Every guest at the Masquerade will receive a FREE copy of Issue 3, as well as other lovely gift bag goodies to be announced! The first 50 people to arrive will receive a FULL SIZED eyeshadow from our friends at Sweet Libertine Cosmetics! (http://www.sweetlibertine.com/) ALSO! While they last, our gift bags will include a FREE pass to the November 13/14th Pier Antiques Show/Fashion Alley (a $15 value!) - find out more at http://www.stellashows.com/ !

DRESS CODE : Vintage/vintage-style evening attire 1910s-1940s; black tie is encouraged. Vintage style Hallowe'en costumes welcome, and masks are encouraged for all guests!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Destinations: The Mad Men Finale Parties Oct 17th

The fourth season of AMC's  acclaimed Mad Men comes to an end Sunday October 17th. It has been a harrowing season at the Sterling Cooper Draper Price advertising agency.  We have witnessed Don Draper's roller coaster ride in a bottle of Canadian Club that even included a "Lost Weekend", SCDP's reversal of fortune with the loss of Lucky Strike, and the ascension of the new Mad generation - Pete Campbell and Peggy Olson. All while the nation and society goes through the radical changes of the 1960s. On that note, we are eagerly awaiting what Matthiew Weiner has in store of us in tonight's Finale.  To get in the Mad Mood, make a prty out of it. We recommend the following parties at New York establishments where the show's fictional characters would surely be regulars.

21 Club - "Mad Men Finale" viewing party - our man Grumpy Old Hepcat found this gem of an event at a venerable old haunt of  Gotham high society that Roger Sterling would have dined at weekly. Chase Sapphire is also hosting an open bar for their members. Thankfully, jackets are still required for Gentlemen at Upstairs section of the landmark restaurant. (21 Club - 21 West 52nd Street, NYC, NY)

Oak Room Bar at the Plaza Hotel -  Hi-Ball Cocktail Party has been a Mad Men viewing destination since the season opener in July. Party goers show up clad in early sixties suits and cocktail dresses. Period cocktails such as the Greyhound and a Whiskey Buck variation called the Ginger Whiskey complete the theme. But be prepared to pay 21st century prices for your libations! (Oak Room, 10 Central Park South, NYC, NY)

The Examiner.com lists some  alternatives if you don't have the scratch to hang at "21" or the Oak Room.



If you are staying home, we suggest the following true 1960s classic cocktails.  These libations are relatively easy to execute and use less than five ingredients.


Old Fashioned
2 oz of Rye (Old Overholt or Wild Turkey)
1-2 tsp of simple syrup or sugar cube
1-2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Orange peel

Tools: Bar glass (or pint glass), bar spoon,  jigger, cocktail glass, swiss peeler.

Muddle the bitters and sugar cube (or simple syrup) in a mixing glass, add rye, then add ice and stir the mixture until well chilled. Strain into an Old Fashioned or Hi-ball glass, garnish with orange peel.

"CC" Manhattan
2 oz Canadian Club Rye Whiskey
1 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry (I suggest Luxardo brand or a brandied cherry)

Tools: Bar glass (or pint glass), bar spoon,  jigger, cocktail glass.

Combine rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters in mixing glass. Add plenty of ice, then stir using a bar spoon until  chilled (about 15-20 seconds). Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the cherry.

The Gimlet (Vodka or Gin)
2 oz Vodka (Smirnoff or Stolichnaya) or Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
bar spoon of simple syrup

Tools: Cocktail shaker, bar spoon,  jigger, cocktail glass.

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake rigorously for 10-12 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lime wedge. I do not favor using Rose's sweetened lime juice because it is artificially flavored. So, I add a bar spoon of simple syrup to the fresh lime juice.

The Daiquiri
2 oz light rum (Bacardi or Don Q)
1 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Tools: Cocktail Shaker, jigger, cocktail glass.

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker, add cracked ice, and shake hard until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

Mad Men Finale on AMC, Sunday October 17th, 10pm EST.