Friday, December 28, 2012

THE SALON: 5th Annual New Year's Eve Eve Party

The place to be this Sunday December 30th is THE SALON's 5th annual NEW YEAR'S EVE EVE party. This year, the Salon continues the tradition with another spectacular lineup of more than 40 performers for your lounging and dancing pleasure! 

This year's venue is THE DL, an elegant new club built into two brownstones that were combined to create a beautiful three floor venue, each featuring its own bar and dance floor, plus the huge rooftop lounge even has a separate outdoor smoking area... bring your cigars and pipes!

Live Music by:

** The 3rd floor features live music by:

featuring vocalist John Dokes

Grand Prize Winner, Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, 2008

DJ VaVaVoon Spinning tunes to keep ya dancing all night

** The 2nd floor is all about the blues in the gorgeous "Red Room" with DJ FLOUER (from Friday Night Blues)...

and live music by 

** The Hot-Jazz 1st floor featuring
GELBER & MANNINThe feuding vaudeville lovebirds. 


MIKE “the barber” HAAR of the Ragged Phonograph Program
Spinning 1920’s hot-jazz & dance

**The Salon also proudly presents**

THE MINSKY SISTERSThe '20's Tap Dancing Sensation

DANDY WELLINGTON Master of Ceremonies and Emcee Extraordinaire

burlesque by

Plus, our lovely Go-Go dancers and Stage Kittens

FREE Beginner swing dance lesson from 7:30-8pm by
The NYEE Salon tradition continues with Radishes for dapper gents by MICHAEL INGBAR
The Salon's signature commitment is equal billing for quality performances, dancing, AND cocktail culture. In that spirit of bon vivant, Loungerati is honored to be included in The Salon's 2012 NYEE party as their in house cocktailian along side award winning bartender ERYN REECE of Mayahuel!

THE SALON: New Year's Eve Eve
Sunday, December 30th, 2012

DL Lounge
95 Delancey Street
(Corner of Delancey St & Ludlow St) New York, NY
Doors open at 7pm with live music from 7:00pm to 1:30am
21+ (ID required)

* General Admission
$25 - Advance Tickets (online)
$30 - At the Door (cash only)

* VIP Tickets
$100 - Advance Tickets (online)
$110 - At the Door (cash only)
VIP Tickets - Two hour premium top-shelf open bar from 8-10pm. Skip the line at the door, and gain exclusive access to VIP-Only area, with cocktail tables, seating and more. Limited availability. Food not included.

* All Ticket sales will be capped to prevent overcrowding.
* Early-Bird discounted ticket sale ended on Dec 16th.
* All advance ticket sales end Sunday Dec 30th at 12 noon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lounge Essentials: Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Revive your corpse after painting the town red with the Breville Dual Boiler. 
Espresso perfection requires precision temperature and pressure control, consistently, every time. At the heart of this machine is its dual stainless steel boiler heating system. The dedicated espresso boiler is adjustable (190°-205°F) for different bean roasts and origins, while a separate steam boiler offers instant and powerful steam on demand. So you can extract your shot at the right temperature, delivering optimal flavor, while simultaneously steaming your milk to cafe quality.

Luigi Borrelli corded slacks, in burnt orange
Owned by the Naples-based Borrelli family, this upscale Madison Avenue boutique is known for its slim, elegant suiting. Set apart from the work of more stolid English haberdasheries, Luigi Borrelli clothing features trim, stylish look. may we suggest their delightful handmade pants in festive orange this season? 

Need to make notation barside of a new cocktail discovery? Grab for the Rhodia Webbie
Why settle for the (Moleskin) imitation when you have the original, as French schoolchild have known for years. The  Webnotebook (aka Webbie) is the  pocket-sized journal goes everywhere and is filled with functionality. It has a hard leatherette cover embossed with the iconic Rhodia logo, plus a convenient expanding rear inner pocket and elastic closure that matches the cover color.Choose from lined, blank or dot paper - all 90 g, ivory-colored, acid-free, and pH neutral paper. 

Voyage d'Hermes Eau de Parfum Hermes for women and men
Voyage d'Hermes Eau de Parfum: a fragrance to share for both men and women.
The composition is built around the above notes of the original Voyage d'Hermes with added floral notes of rose and warm amber. The composition provides lemon, cardamom and spices in top notes. A heart hides hedione, floral notes with accentuated rose, green notes and tea notes, with a strong trail of musk combined with blond wood and warm amber. To die for.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lounge Essentials: Holiday Gift Recommendations 2012

Gifts for the Home Bar
The Loungerati staff share some of our Lounge Essentials holiday gift wish list:

For The Home Bar (pictured)
Home Bar Basics and Not-So Basics by Dave Stolte ($12.75) nominated for Best Cocktail Writing Spirited Award at Tales of the Cocktail 2012, this must have pocket cocktail guide is a welcome addition to any home bar. Stolte provides recipes, insightful commentary and even illustrations. 

Tuthilltown Distillery Barrel Aging Kit  ($12.50) - don't have room for an entire barrel to age booze? No problem, mimic the process with this home aging kit from the folks behind Hudson Whiskies which include honeycomb barrel staves that adds a charred wood flavor to pre-made cocktails. (cocktail not included)

Umamimart's Yarai Mixing Glass and Trident Bar Spoon gift set ($50.00) - The Japanese beaker shaped heavy bottom mixing glass and iconic trident fork bar spoon up your home bar game.

Cocktail Kingdom stocking stuffers: Lewis Ice Bag - perfect way to make crushed ice for juleps ($3.95), CoCo Ultra Premium Fine Strainer - essential strainer for citrus cocktails ($6.95), Cocktail Kingdom Steel Julep Spoon Straw -25 5" spoon straws set pack ($37.95) - no need to swipe them from Little Branch anymore!

Other great home bar gifts available at the Loungerati Home Bar Store!

Lounge Enhancements
Iconic Images of Josephine Baker, George Gershwin, Audrey Hepburn, and more
Condé Naste, publisher of such classic magazines as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker, offers a selection of fabulous photographs from their archives at very reasonable prices — these are obviously not vintage prints, but it's still a treat to be able to have access to such iconic images—as well as many relatively unknown but equally stunning shots. Particularly recommended are images by Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, George Hoyningen-Huené to name just a few. The prints are available framed or unframed and in a number of sizes and finishes—just please don't insult the medium by ordering one on canvas!! 

Vinyl Mania, ($59.95) at Taschen web store - a two-volume book set—album-sized at 11.8 x 11.8" of course, and 556 pages—is packed full of the coolest, craziest jazz album covers from the 1940s to the 1990s ("the decline of LP Production" *sigh* ). Included are record covers from Sara Vaughn, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderly, Duke Ellington, and Quincy Jones to name a few. 

The Postcards Age ($45.00)
Published to accompany a show  at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Postcard Age presents an incredible collection of postcards created during the early part of the 1900s, when,as the museum describes it, "postcards were Twitter, e-mail, Flickr, and Facebook, all wrapped into one." Also check out Posters: Irony, Imagination and Eroticism in Advertising 1895-1960, ($75.00) which offers a tantalizing dip into a pre-Mad Men world of the art of advertising and seduction. l

The Rita Cocktail Dress from Bettie Page Clothing ($102.00) - knock them dead at the office holiday party with this killer turquoise dress that would make Joan Harris proud! Bonus: The Bettie Page Clothing just opened a NY location at 303 Bowery - 2013 will be a dynamite year!

Red and Navy Stripped Sock Garters from Fine and Dandy ($19.00) - Besides being a very personal fashion statement, sock garters are actually functional. I don't know about you but I have yet to meet a modern sock who elasticity survives more than a few months. Eliminate the risk of sock bunching around your ankles with a smart pair of sock garters. While you are at it, pick up some classic shirt garters too. Garters for men, no longer geezer but geezer chic!

Navy Cocktail Pocket Square also from Fine and Dandy ($39.00) - this silk work of art will be a hit for any well dressed cocktail man in your life. In other words, every male lounger you know

Holiday Bonus
Minetta Tavern Gift Certificate - opened in 1937 in Greenwich Village, the Minetta Tavern is a landmark and an old haunt of the Loungerati. When restauranteur Keith McNally  took over the location in 2009, he made it a food and cocktail destination. The best Cote de Boeuf in New York is worth the wait!

~ Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy Repeal Day!!

On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution became the law of the land. 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 let's all toast 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.
On December 5, 2006 Loungerati was formed to fill the void for lounge website which was closed down by it's eponymous 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 a bar called Brooklyn Social in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and institutionalized with the epic Lounge Doctrine delivered by The Senator at the Algonquin Hotel bar the following year. Loungerati continues to serve as an outlet to those who enjoy Lounge culture, the sporting life, exquisite cocktails, classic music, and a good time! 

Please join us at the legendary Monkey Bar in New York City late Saturday night December 8th  to celebrate your right to imbibe and Loungerati's 6th Birthday!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Best of Lounge 2012 - Winners

Lounger Number One for 2012 awarded posthumously to the impresario, Brian F. Paynter.
(Artwork by Dave Stolte)

The Loungerati readers have voted via PollDaddy for the 2012 Best of Lounge Awards and the results are in:

Lounge Scene Awards 
Best Burlesque Act or Performer: THE MINSKY SISTERS
Honorable Mention: Francine "The Lucid Dream", Angie Pontani, Grace Gotham

Diane L. Naegel Award for Best Lounge or Vintage Event: JAZZ AGE LAWN PARTY AT GOVERNOR'S ISLAND
Honorable Mention: Club Wit's End - A Monthly Celebration of the Jazz Age,  Liberty Belle Fourth of July Spectacular at the Empire Hotel, The Salon's New Year's Eve Eve Party

Viva La Musica Award for Best Jazz, Lounge, or Swing Band: MICHAEL ARENELLA & HIS DREAMLAND ORCHESTRA
Honorable Mention: Gelber & Manning, Ray Gelato & City Rhythm Orchestra, Queen Esther & Her Hot Five

Most Sought After Ingredient for the Home Bar: PERRY'S TOT NAVY STRENGTH GIN from New York Distilling Company
Honorable Mention: Dale DeGroff's Pimento Aromatic Bitters, Home Bar Basics (and not so basics) manual by Dave Stolte, Bittermens Amere Sauvage

Best Dressed LoungerGIN MINSKY of the Minsky Sisters
Honorable Mention: Brian F. Paynter, Jack Newcastle, Dandy Wellington

Brian F. Paynter Award for Lounger Number One: BRIAN F. PAYNTER (Impresario)
Honorable Mention: Nicole Desmond, Eff from Loungerati, Mr. Gotham 

Cocktail Bars and Lounges
Best New Cocktail Bar or LoungeTHE SHANTY (Brooklyn)
Honorable mention:  Experimental Cocktail Club - LES (New York), Middle Branch (New York), Pouring Ribbons (New York)

Best Veteran Cocktail Bar or LoungeCLOVER CLUB (Brooklyn)
Honorable Mention: PDT (New York), Death & Company (New York), Fort Defiance (Brooklyn)

Best BarfoodThe Prime Meats Burger - PRIME MEATS (Brooklyn)
Honorable Mention: Deviled Eggs with Four Flavors - Clover Club (Brooklyn),  The Cubano - DeCoursey's Side Car (Brooklyn), Derby Cobb Salad - Astor Room (Queens)

David A. Embury Award for Best Cocktail of 2012SAUVETAGE, Nate Dumas for The Shanty (Brooklyn)
Honorable Mention: Death & Taxes by Joaquin Simo for Pouring Ribbons (New York), KYPX by Franky Marshall for Monkey Bar (New York), Absinthe Colada by Maxwell Britten for Maison Premiere (Brooklyn)

Editor and Staff Picks:
Best Seat in the HouseThe "Regular" at EMPLOYEES ONLY (New York)
Honorable mention: Back window seat at Rum House (New York), F14 at Clover Club (Brooklyn), Any bar seat at the original Milk & Honey (New York)

Best Cocktail for the RoadFernet Branca Bottle Service at BOURGEOIS PIG BROOKLYN (Brooklyn)
Honorable Mention: Underberg bitters at Prime Meats (Brooklyn), Hanky Panky at American Bar, Savoy Hotel (London), Boulevardier  at Lantern's Keep (New York)

Best Saloon: WARD III (New York)
Honorable Mention: Daddy-O (New York), The Richardson (Brooklyn), Manifesto (Kansas City)

Best of the InternationalsARTESIAN BAR at LANGHAM HOTEL (London)
Honorable Mention:  American Bar at the Savoy Hotel (London), Happiness Forgets (London), Upstairs at Callooh Callay (London)

Best of the NY Hotel Bars
Honorable Mention: Library Bar at NoMad Hotel (New York), Lantern's Keep at the Iroquois Hotel (New York), Breslin Bar at Ace Hotel (New York)

Best Dive aka "The Gutter Award"JIMMY'S CORNER (New York)
Honorable Mention: Jackies Fifth Amendment (Brooklyn), Montero Bar & Grill(Brooklyn), Arthur's Tavern (New York)

Don't Bruise the Ice Award for Best Ice ProgramMIDDLE BRANCH (New York)
Honorable Mention: Dutch Kills Bar (Queens), Weather Up Tribeca (New York), Artesian Bar at Langham Hotel (London)

The back bar at THE SHANTY
Best New Cocktail Bar/Lounge: The SHANTY

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Best of Lounge 2012 - The Voting Begins

The Lounger Number One Award
dedicated to the late Brian F. Paynter
Welcome to the Best of Lounge 2012 Voting!

The categories open for your vote are:  
Best New Bar/Lounge
  • Pouring Ribbons 
  • Experimental Cocktail Club - LES 
  • NoMad Hotel Bar
  • Middle Branch
  • Gin Palace
  • The Shanty
  • Donna
  • Bourgeois Pig Brooklyn
  • JBird 
  • Tooker Alley
    Best Veteran Bar/Lounge 
    • Clover Club
    • PDT
    • Death & Company
    • Ward III
    • Employees Only
    • Fort Defiance
    • Daddy-O
    • Little Branch
    • Rum House
    • Pegu Club 
    Most Sought After Ingredient/Bar tool for the Home Bar
    • Perry's Tot Navy Strength Gin from New york Distilling Company
    • Dale DeGroff's Pimento Aromatic Bitters 
    • Mexican Beehive Juicer
    • "Home Bar Basics (and not so basics)" manual by Dave Stolte
    • Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch from William Grant portfolio
    • Bittermens Amer Sauvage
    • Barman's Rucksack by Gin & Luck
    • Tuthilltown Distillery Barrel Aging Kit
    Best Barfood 
    • Serbian Charcuterie at Employees Only
    • Deviled Eggs with Four Flavors at Clover Club
    • The Cubano at DeCoursey's SideCar 
    • Chargrilled Lamb Burger at Breslin Bar
    • The Prime Meats Burger at Prime Meats
    • Mutton Chop and escarole at Keens Steakhouse
    • Roasted Bone Marrow at Minetta Tavern
    • Derby Cobb Salad at the Astor Room
    Best Burlesque Act or Performance 
    • Angie Pontani of the World Famous Pontani Sisters
    • Medianoche Ber Lesque
    • Nikki Le Villain's "Egyptian Snake Dance"
    • Grace Gotham
    • Hazel Honeysuckle
    • Jo Boobs Weldan's Pink Light Burlesque
    • The Minsky Sisters
    • Calamity "The Asian Sexation" Chang
    • Francine "The Lucid Dream" and her show - The Pink Room: David Lynch Burlesque
    Best Dressed Lounger
    • Brian F. Paynter
    • Gin Minsky
    • Eff from Loungerati
    • Michael Haar
    • David Lochner
    • Jack Newcastle
    • Angie Pontani
    • Dandy Wellington
    Diane L. Naegel Award for Best Lounge or Vintage Event
    • Club Wit's End
    • Jazz Age Picnic at Governor's Island
    • The Salon: New Year's Eve Eve 
    • Sweetheart Soiree at the Bogardus Mansion
    • Liberty Belle Fourth of July Spectacular at the Empire Hotel
    Brian F. Paynter Award: Lounger Number One
    • Brian F. Paynter
    • Nicole Desmond
    • Eff from Loungerati
    • Mr. Gotham
    • Marlo Gamora
    Viva La Music Award: Best Jazz/Swing/Lounge Band
    • Michael Arenella & The Dreamland Orchestra
    • Ray Gelato & City Rhythm Orchestra at the Blue Note
    • George Gee Swing Orchestra
    • Gelber & Manning
    • Drew Nugent & The Midnight Society
    • Dandy Wellington & His Band
    • J Walter Hawkes Trio 
    • Queen Esther & Her Hot Five
    David A. Embury Award: Best Cocktail of 2012
    • Death & Taxes by Joaquin Simo, Pouring Ribbons
    • Sauvetage by Nate Dumas, The Shanty
    • Clip Joint Cup, NoMad Hotel Bar
    • KYPX, by Franky Marshall of Monkey Bar
    • The MI5, Gin Palace 
    • Maison Absinthe Colada, Maxwell Britten of Maison Premiere
    Additional categories will be voted by the Loungerati editors and include:
    • Best Saloon
    • Best Seat in the House
    • Best Cocktail for the Road
    • Best of the International Bars
    • Best Hotel Bar
    • Best Dive aka the Gutter Award
    • Don't Bruise The Ice Award for Premier Ice Program

    Deadline to cast your votes is November 30th, the winners will be announced on Loungerati's 6th birthday Dec 5th (Repeal Day of course).


    Fredo, Eff, & The Senator

    (Photo courtesy of Lynn Redmile Photography)

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    In Memoriam: Brian Paynter

    Some words from the Editors

    Fredo, Bernard, Brian, and Eff at Monkey Bar, NYC - February 2012
    Brian Paynter (April 22, 1954  - October 24, 2012)

    This week we lost one of our own.  The venerable Brian Paynter was an iconoclast and true original. When he walked into a room, he exuded charismatic presence, and left a memorable impression on all who met him.  Brian was an old school New Yorker of Dutch and Lithuanian descent who grew up on the Upper East Side during the rough and tumble 1960s and 1970s. He was devoted husband, a loving father, and a church going man. Brian was a straight shooter who carried himself with charm and panache. He was larger than life and like no other person I know. He had a big heart and was a massive influence on me and the vintage/lounge community.

    Let me be frank, if it were not for Brian Paynter there would be no Loungerati.  If not for Brian, I would not have a love for cocktails that has become a passion. If not for Brian I would not know houndstooth from glen plaid, pork pie from Homberg, Xavier Cugat from Desi Arnaz, Cohiba from Montecristo, Lost Weekend from The Apartment. To say that he left an impression on me and countless others who live by the lounge creed is an incredible understatement. Brian was our standard bearer. He was first class like Nick Charles. Brian embodied the very foundation of Lounge living and did it without pretense. In Brian's world, loyal phone company working class guys could be as dapper as Humphrey Bogart or Fred Astaire and stroll Fifth Avenue like they owned it.  In Brian's world, putting a little extra effort into how one presented themselves was not an outdated concept but rather a mark of one's character. Brian was my mentor, my template for behavior and sartorial expression.

    In the cocktail community, old time bartenders often talk of discerning clients who insisted on classically made cocktails well before the current cocktail Renaissance began ten years ago. They called these die hard aficionados "lone samurai" and credit their insistence on specific ingredients and well made cocktails as inspiration for a career in mixology. Well, Brian was one of those lone samurai.  When I met Brian 15 years ago at a cigar bar called Cigargoyles in Brooklyn Heights, he was drinking a Canadian Club Rye Manhattan in a gray flannel suit and felt fedora. He was suave yet approachable and down to earth. I was impressed and this experience was a game changer. The lone samurai soon had traveling companions - dozens and dozens of finely attired, jazz loving, swing dancing, cigar smoking, cocktail drinking regular folks determined to live life to the fullest.

    Brian passed away at 10pm on the evening of October 24th surrounded by family. Brian had been fighting Leukemia for three years and though he put up a valiant fight, he ultimately lost the battle.  I was lucky enough to stop by the hospital last week to say good bye. I found my old friend, alert, in incredibly good spirits, telling jokes, talking about old movies and a recent jazz show he had attended. I had smuggled in a flask of pre-mixed Manhattan and we shared a last drink. He appreciated it. Brian expressed that he had lived an exceptional life and was blessed to have a beautiful super smart daughter and the best wife on earth. Damn straight! I could not muster up the actual words "good bye" so we shook hands and he said, "I'll save you a seat." And he meant it.

    Brian, I shall never forget you. I would not be half the man I am today without you in my life and I owe you big time. My heartfelt condolences go out to the Paynter family and Brian's legion of friends during this difficult time. Thank you again old friend. Rest in peace.

    A closing note from our Style Editor Eff 

    I am indebted to you for the generous gift of your friendship. I learned something new every single time we spoke. You were always the best dressed guy in the room and I wouldn't have had it any other way! You kept me entertained with tales of your New York: volumes of stories which somehow never repeated themselves.

    You shared insightful predictions on experiences us guys younger than you have yet to experience.  I look forward to testing their reliability and validity. But already know you were right. Lastly, thanks for the trust you put in me: those times meant the world. And in a little way, let me kid myself that I somehow didn't owe as much a debt to you as I did. But in true Brian Paynter fashion, he slyly stepped away from the table and settled the bill before others could pay their share. I'll try and pick it up sometimes for other fellas...with loving gratitude to you.

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    Barfly's Beat: Pouring Ribbons

    Death & Taxes Cocktail - a best seller at Pouring Ribbons
    Joaquín Simó (Tales of the Cocktail American Bartender of the Year, 2012) partners up with Toby Maloney (Alchemy Consulting), Troy Sidle and Jason Cott to open up a new East Village cocktail destination. This collaboration has been hotly anticipated by cocktail lovers who flocked to Death & Company for Simó's drinks.  Joaquín brings his signature attention to detail and D&C tradition of layering flavors to his new boite Pouring Ribbons. Maloney (a Milk & Honey and Pegu Club alum) and company bring an impressive record of opening award winning operations like Patterson House (Nashville) and Violet Hour (Chicago). Needless to say, with this pedigree, Pouring Ribbons could quickly rise to the top of New York's cocktail pantheon.

    The entire bar is on the second floor above a liquor store at 225 Avenue B near 14th Street. When we rolled up, there was a ear piece totting doorman who on door control duty. After two unsuccessful attempts to radio upstairs to check capacity, he cried UNCLE and sent us up. I expected a D&C style wait and was pleasantly surprised for the easy access. Up the stairs, we entered an airy 88-seat bar with a curvy wood bar, and plenty of banquette and table seating. There was more of a saloon vibe to the place which is a nice departure from the standard speakeasy motif. A smiling hostess greeted us, asking our preference for table or bar? One can stand in the bar space at Pouring Ribbons, so we chose that option until a seat opened up. We wanted to see Joaquín at work and got quite a show.

    The cocktail menu is succinct and simple which is a nice departure from the encyclopedias handed out at some bars.  The menu is divided into two main sections, classic drinks made to your preference (negroni, manhattan, mai tai, etc) and 15 house cocktails. According to Simó, the best selling house cocktails are a delicious concoction called Death &Taxes (Dorothy Parker Gin, Lemon, Clear Creek Blue Plum brandy, Lavender-infused Cinzano Bianco, acai honey syrup, grapefruit bitters) and the Dueling Banjos (Weller Special Reserve Bourbon, Lemon, Eagle Rare Bourbon, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, and Coconut milk). My favorite, The Death & Taxes, was reminiscent of an Aviation cocktail but with a layers of floral and fruit flavors from the brandy and infused vermouth. The Dorothy Park American gin was definitely prominent and overall the drink has a thirst quenching feel to it.

    The house cocktails are expected to change seasonally so expect lots of exciting variations on classic and new favorites. The ice program here is serious too, with hand carved blocks and cylinder shaped pieces fitting snug in elegant glassware. Even the garnishes were artistic with grapefruit peels cut into the shapes of lips. It is noteworthy to add that these extra touches of fancy did not come off as ostentatious given the general welcoming and egalitarian feel of Pouring Ribbons. There are also small plates available (Beecher's gourmet cheese, charcuterie platters, and other delectable tidbits) and the wine and beer selection is top notch.

    No reservations, no dress code, come as you are, and enjoy yourself.

    225 Avenue B 
    (btw 13th & 14th Streets)
    New York, NY 10009
    Phone: 917.656.6788

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

    9/11 Remberance: We Honor Windows on the World Staff and The Greatest Bar on Earth

    New Yorkers and all Americans remember with choked up feelings when we read the names of the fallen, especially the names we know. Loungerati takes this opportunity to salute the 76 bar and restaurant workers at Windows on the World who lost their lives that fateful Tuesday morning in September. They were part of the working class ordinary folks who make New York City great. We also lost a place called the Greatest Bar on Earth which provided us with so many memorable experiences.

    The Greatest Bar on Earth ("GBOE"), which occupied the 107th floor of the North Tower, hardly lived up to it's name. Nevertheless, it was home for metro area Loungers every Friday night during the late 90s and early 00s. Sure, when you ordered an Old Fashioned you may get a concoction mistakenly made with Worcestershire sauce in lieu of Angostura bitters, but we would assist when necessary and always leave generous tips. When a swinging band like Jet Set Six were playing or the vanguard burlesque act The Pontani Sisters teasing the crowd, the place was pure magic! We loved GBOE and during our last visit on August 25, 2001, we enjoyed the Louis Prima stylings of the Ray Gelato Giants from London. GBOE was a standard on the neo-swing, lounge, and jazz circuit. It was a place we would go to warm up for the Supper Club later in the night. Loungers from that era continue to miss the GBOE wholeheartedly and the community it created. More important than any establishment, we honor the wonderful folks who made the trip to the top of the tower so unique and are sadly gone.

    The staff at Loungerati

    Ray Gelato (center) with the Loungerati, at GBOE Aug 25, 2001

    Sunday, September 2, 2012

    What We're Drinking: The Negroni Bianco

    Negroni Bianco

    Etiquette deems that one cannot wear white after Labor Day but there is no mention of white cocktails being verboten! Let me introduce you to the Negroni Bianco or “White Negroni”, a perfect drink for the transition to Autumn.

    For years, I would request a White Negroni at select New York cocktail destinations when by chance I saw a bottle of a coveted French bitter aperitif called Suze on the shelf. I would only ask if the bartenders or bar owners were friends. I held no ill will if they refused to dip into their super secret stash of Suze to accommodate me. This liqueur was not available in the United States and bartenders in the know smuggled it in the country on return trips from Europe.  So, it was pretty special to have one given the limited supply of Suze.


     “British Cocktail King” Wayne Collins created the White Negroni in 2002 and leveraged the Negroni lighter sister ingredients by using gin, Lillet Blanc (a French fortified wine), and Suze. Lillet took the place of sweet vermouth, while Suze replaced Campari in the classic Negroni formula. The proportions were modified from the classic equal parts recipe by increasing the gin to a full jigger. I believe this was done to counter the complexity and earthy tones of the Suze.  In my adaptation, I have swapped out London Dry gin for an American Navy Strength gin, and returned the proportions to equal parts. I also use Dolin Blanc vermouth in lieu of Lillet Blanc, because Dolin Blanc at its core is a sweet vermouth. I stuck to the original lemon peel for garnish since I think Collins had it right regarding the lemon oils. I have made this drink with orange peel too; it is delicious and the orange peel is more like a traditional Negroni.

    The Ingredients

    Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin (57% ABV) - As with the classic Negroni, the bianco version requires a gin with the fortitude and depth to stand up the robust flavors of the bitter and sweetness of the vermouth. One could go with a classic London Dry gin such as Beefeater, but I prefer to up the ante and the proof of this libation. So I went with Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin from the New York Distilling Company.

    Distiller Allen Katz honors 19th Century American Navy legend and former Commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Matthew Calbraith Perry with this classic navy strength gin. This variety of gin distilled at 57 % ABV which is the historical proof at which gunpowder might still be fired should it unfortunately be soaked by spilled spirit. Katz also tips cap to the Navy tradition by referencing the standard gin ration measurement or “tot” (roughly 1 oz) provided to British Commonwealth sailors during the 1800s.

    Weighing in at 114 proof, Perry’s Tot not only stands up to the Suze’s complexity, it is also chock full of bold flavors. Besides the traditional signature botanicals such as juniper, citrus peels, and cardamom, Perry’s Tot is also infused with wild honey flower. This recipe results in a clean juniper taste with both subtle and intense flavors of citrus and spice.

    Suze (20% ABV) is a French wine-based liquor whose prominent flavor is yellow gentian root. It is considered part of the “bitter” family and has been continually produced since 1889. Artist Pablo Picasso was so inspired by the spirit that he memorialized it in his 1912 "Verre et bouteille de Suze." The impressive history aside, Suze has been a precious commodity to drinks aficionados since Wayne Collins put it on the cocktail map with his White Negroni. It was not available in the United States – until now!

    For Suze's U.S. launch, the manufacturers resurrected creator Fernand Moureaux’s original 1885 recipe. Much like Lillet, modern day Suze has been modified to accommodate the modern consumer tastes. So the bitter or quinine taste profile was lowered and sweetness increased. However, Pernod-Ricard (owners of Suze since 1965) are big supporters of the craft cocktail movement. They understand the demand for authenticity when it comes to flavor profiles from specific eras. The original formula and name of the newly available spirit is Suze Saveur D’Autrefois - which translates to “old flavor”.

    The Suze Saveur D’Autrefois is now available in the United States and distributed by Domaine Select. It retails at about $30-35 for 1L bottle.

    Dolin Blanc Vermouth (16% ABV) - Maison Dolin et Cie produces a premium brand of vermouths from the alpine Chambéry region of southeast France. Vermouth de Chambéry has also received the appellation d’origine controlée (a.o.c) certification due to the unique characteristics of the soil of the area. The Blanc is produced like un-aged sweet vermouth that is infused with 54 plants and herbs that includes rose petals but none of the ingredients that create the red color. It is a more thoughtful variation of the mass produced bianco vermouth but with the unique aromatic vegetation of Chambéry.

    Domaine Select also imports Dolin vermouths, which have a very economical price point of $16-20 for a 750ml bottle.

    If you do not have access to Suze Saveur D’Autrefois yet but want to enjoy a White Negroni, I recommend Grand Classico Bitter or Bittermens Amere Sauvage - Gentiane Américaine as a worthy substitutes.

    Negroni Bianco
    Adapted from Wayne Collins White Negroni recipe

    1 oz Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin
    1 oz Suze Saveur D’Autrefois
    1 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
    Lemon peel

    Tools: Jigger, strainer, mixing glass, Swiss peeler, coupe

    Method: Combine vermouth, Suze, and gin in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe, garnish with fresh lemon peel.

    Where to drink this cocktail: The Shanty (79 Richardson Street, Brooklyn) and PDT (113 St. Marks, East Village)

    Where to purchase the ingredients: Astor Wine & Spirits (399 Lafayette Street, NYC)

    - Fredo