We can veritably feel the electricity in the air, as the annual arrival of spring approaches (though admittedly, this was a wimp of a winter). Extended daylight, warming temperatures, and let’s face it, serious FOMO, make for the perfect inspirations to spend these more pleasant evenings sipping your way through seasonal cocktails at the newest downtown tippling hotspots.
Soho’s hotel bar scene, for one, just got much more interesting with the opening of A.L.B. at the Arlo Soho, over on the western fringe. Sitting by the floor-to-ceiling-windows facing the verdant courtyard is the perfect way to decompress after another day of soul-crushing headlines. But the East Village is also heating up, with Mr. Paradise, an Art Deco inspired boite, and Paper Daisy, a serious cocktail spot in the former Cafe Orlin.
Finish the night by ducking into into the sultry Peppi’s Cellar, the bar under the new Aussi-by-way-of-Italia stunner Gran Tivoli, fittingly in NoLIta, The brick walls and moody lighting make one feel as if you’ve been transported to a Tuscan wine cellar, only with a thing for forward-looking cocktail creations.
Having made the rounds, we asked each to share with us the secret behind a favorite from their impressive drinks menus. Do try these at home – but make sure to also sip them in situ. And leave the designer parka at home.
Bloody Jasmine (pictured top)
A.L.B., Food & Beverage Director Gary Wallach
“Our Aussie twist on a classic cocktail. A pretty drink that tastes even better than it looks.”
.75oz Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
.75oz Dry Curacao
.75oz fresh lemon juice
1 dash of Regan’s Orange Bitters
Lemon twist for garnish
Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupette glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
The Party Lobster
Mr.Paradise, Bartender Will Wyatt
4 Dashes Fermented Habanero/Garlic Brine
1/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Mezcal
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Clarified Watermelon Cordial
1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila
A riff on the spicy margarita, sets your mouth on fire with habanero, but here it’s fermented and paired with savory garlic, watermelon, lime, and a blend of agave spirits.
Paper Daisy, Bartender Thomas Flynn
1.5oz Spring 44 Vodka
0.5oz Lillet Rose
0.75oz grapefruit cordial
0.5oz lemon juice
Method: build ingredients, shake with ice, and fine strain into a highball glass with ice and top with seltzer
Peppi’s Cellar, Dave Fisher, Beverage Director
0.75 oz Lemon Juice
0.33 oz Orange Juice
0.75 Simple Syrup
1 oz egg white
0.17 oz Branca Mentha
0.25 oz Triple Sec
0.25 oz Cappalletti
0.25 oz Campari
Method: Double shake and strain over cubed ice in a highball glass. Top with some. Garnish with a orange wedge