More Sandy Relief Benefits This Week, All With a Boozy Twist

It’s great that after a few weeks, two holidays, and another on the way, people are still recognizing the disaster that Hurricane Sandy caused in various parts of the city. In the next nine days there are four fun events aimed at raising money for victims, displaced families, and devastated businesses. Here are some ways you can give more to the relief efforts, and drink your face off at the same time.

Tonight, hit up the Bowery Hotel for the 1st Annual New York Bartenders Ball featuring live music by Chances With Wolves and cocktails made by drink mavericks from Death & Co, Employees Only, PDT, Ward III, Dutch Kills, Dram, The Whiskey Brooklyn, and Weather Up Tribeca. Starting at 7pm, $100 gets you in for a five-hour open bar with food, and every penny goes to Occupy Sandy NYC Relief and the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation

Also tonight, the $10 donation at the door of NYC Heart’s NYC event at The Tippler will be donated to victims of the hurricane. While you feel good about giving back, you can also feel good about shaking your tail to Diane Birch and Maverick & Ice, and then, participating in the live auction hosted by Brian McCarthy. The party runs from 6pm to 2am, and they will serve $10 cocktails and nibbles all night long. 

The Barman’s Fund is at it again, but this time they are inviting you to party down at Dutch Kills on Sunday, December 2 at 9pm until 2am. Join them for the 2nd Annual Barman’s Fund Holiday Shindig, where for $50 you can feast on food by #7 Sub and The Vanderbilt, sip cocktails made with Brooklyn Gin, Tito’s Vodka, Owney’s Rum, and others, all mad by barman Richard Boccato. All proceeds go to various NYC charities. 

Next Tuesday, December 4, The Brooklyn Brewery hosts a Hurricane Sandy relief fundraiser for Rockaway Surf Club, Red Hook Initiative, and Coney Recovers. Tickets run $40 and include a commemorative tasting glass, unlimited samples of beer from breweries including Blue Point, Kelso, Dogfish Head, Empire, Founders, and more. With all these incentives, giving has never felt so good.

 

Photo by Caspar Newbolt

New York Openings: The Guthrie Inn, The Flat, Donna

The Guthrie Inn (Upper East Side) – Smart cocktail menu shaking up upper Park Ave.

The Flat (Williamsburg) – Punk rockers drop secret gentlemen’s club off the Hewes Street station.

Donna (Williamsburg) – Central America meets Billyburg in “an elegant space for dirty kids.”

The Best Happy Hour Cocktails

Simple enough to explain to a bartender, complex enough to stand out from the crowd — that’s what we like in a cocktail. Created by some of bartending’s biggest names, these are a combination of old friends and new favorites that we’d recommend for any occasion.

Dark & Stormy Created by Maura McGuigan, Bar Pleiades at The Surrey Hotel

● 2 oz Brugal Añejo Rum ● .75 oz fresh lime ● .75 oz ginger syrup ● Splash of soda water Shake, strain over ice in a Collins glass. Float 1 oz. of Cruzan Black Strap Rum. Garnish with lime.

Perfect Gin Martini Created by Jason Littrell (formerly of Death & Co and Dram) JBird Lounge ● 1 oz. Nolet’s Silver Gin Pour the gin into your mixing glass and add large ice cubes. Keep the ice just above the gin line so there is a good ratio of surface to liquid so as not to water down your drinks. Hold your barspoon like you would hold chopsticks and gently twist it with your fingers through the spirit. Technique is key here — it’s all in the circular stirring motion of the fingers along the ridges of the spoon handle. Keep your arm and wrist steady and be gentle so as not to bruise the botanicals in the gin. If done correctly, you can stir without hearing a sound from the ice or spoon. Stir for 30 to 60 seconds. Use a Hawthorne strainer to strain into a chilled martini glass. Slice the rind of a lemon and squeeze about 15 centimeters away from the glass at a 45-degree angle to perfume the glass and drink. Twist the lemon.

Fedora Honey Badger Created by Brian Bartels, Fedora’s Restaurant ‘ ● 1.5 oz Rittenhouse Rue ● .5 oz Combier liqueur ● .5 oz fresh lime juice ● .75 oz honey water ● Beef Jerky Bitters Combine and shake, and strain into champagne coupe. Top with 4 dashes of bitters.

Highlander Created by Eben Freeman, Marea

● 1 oz. blended scotch whisky ● .5 oz Drambuie liqueur ● 1 oz Pama liqueur ● 5 oz ginger beer ● Dash of lemon juice Combine, shake, and pour.

Siesta Created by Katie Stipe, Vandaag

● Ice ● 2 ounces silver tequila (100% agave) ● .5 ounce Campari ● .5 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice ● .5 ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice ● .5 ounce simple syrup ● Grapefruit twist Combine tequila, Campari, juices, and simple syrup over ice in a cocktail shaker, then shake and strain into a cold glass; garnish with a twist.

[Image via Judy Kennamer/Shutterstock]

Midnight Mixologists: John Byrd’s Toplist

John Byrd, veteran barman of The Bedford in Williamsburg, brings the originality and quality of a swanky mixologist-concocted cocktails to Brooklyn’s finest. Byrd started bartending in Boston over fifteen years ago and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. The “ladies and the gays” help him name his creations, and older people are his inspiration. Take, for instance, the Mrs. Dillin (carrot juice, lime, Stoli Ohranj), a cocktail inspired by his 86-year-old grandma, who drinks a Stoli version every day. Bryd’s also the creator of the Brooklyn Barman, providing supplies and tools—custom bar knives, jiggers, bar bags—for the average bartender. He’s the kind of guy you want to sit down and have a drink with, especially if he’s the one pouring them. Check out John Byrd’s favorite spots to grab a cocktail in New York City.

The BedfordB FlatThe LionBar CentraleDramMacao Trading Co.Angel’s ShareThe Counting Room

See more Midnight Mixologists toplists here.

Swervewolf: Purveyors of the Brand-Newest in Pulperías and Pop-Up Bars

Bars should either be super old, like the Ear Inn, or super new, like that Swervewolf Pulpería spot down in Tribeca. Have you been? It’s the bidness. Just opened a few weeks ago, and you should definitely go. Oh wait, it actually closed last week. Let’s go drink mind erasers at Katrinau instead – you know, that new Cajun-Polynesian cocktail bar in Inwood. I think it opened 8 seconds ago, making it new and exciting. Shall we?

You, the website-reading public, and New Yorkers in general, really like new things. As do we, especially when she’s in town for the weekend from Rio and heading home on Monday. But when it comes to going out, people have very short attention spans. Which explains why sites such as this one are constantly on the hunt for the latest and greatest spots. The public demands it.

Swervewolf, the organization I’m mixed up with (think Scientology with more money meets North Korea without a sense of humor), cannot and would not compete with BlackBook in this field. This is due to a very real fear of BlackBook overlord Chris Mohney, as well as the fact that I don’t remember half the places I go to, making writing about them that much harder. So I’ve decided, in the name of all things new and novel, to create temporary venues lasting for a brief and intense period of time. This is my promise to you, the now-loving public.

To that end, fresh off our rosé dome in Burningwolf, we set up Pulpería de Don Swervewolf, the 12 day pop-up in Tribeca loosely anchored around Fashion Week. The goal was to replicate a pulpería, those Argentine Pampas watering holes of yore that featured old Dutch genever guzzling, yerba mate drinking, Malbec sipping, guitar playing, and other wholesome gaucho activities. We then tricked some chic New York startenders from the likes of Dram and Death & Co. into working at the pulperia. Everything was – like all Swervewolf experiences – completely on the house. Keeping cash around makes the Swervewolf operatives a little nervous.

So, Swervewolf hereby promises to continue bringing you new and even newer places to congregate and make merry, always keeping the drinks flowing and on the house. If you happen to be in Iceland this week during the Airwaves festival, look for the most mobile bar ever created, the Swervewolf Elf Rock, popping up in a hotel room or Geyser near you. And come Halloween, we’ll be back in New York for a five-day voodoun bar downtown. We not only guarantee that it’ll be a new venue, but that there will be models sacrificing live chickens in the name of Baron Samedi.

Check out a little compilation of the pulpería above. Until then, enjoy that hot new spot down the block, and keep on Swervewolfing.

NYC Try Outs: Kristina Marino’s Downtown Diaries

Steve Lewis has it right: these are the good ol’ days. They’re good because there’s something for everyone, and you can change your something on any given night. Take Kristina Marino. Her blog, The Downtown Diaries, chronicles all things nocturnal in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn—her own weekly imbiberies are chameleon-like, but they’re also true to herself. She likes a nice local bar where everyone knows her name, she takes chances with new parties, and she doesn’t judge a restaurant by its dress code. Here, her weekly spots to be scene and be sceney.

Name: Kristina Marino Professional Resume: I’m a jack of all trades but am best known for my blog, The Downtown Diaries, and the parties I throw. In my spare time, I’m the Digital Engagement Manager at Mirrorball, aka I get paid to Facebook, Twitter, and blog, all day, every day—be jealous. One Word to Describe Nightlife in New York City: Sceney

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City Loves:Favorite lunch spot: Westville, Schillers, Miss Favela (Williamsburg). • Favorite dinner spot: Rye (Williamsburg), Fette Sau (Williamsburg), Gemma. • Favorite nightlife trend: Wearing whatever the F you want. • Drink of choice: Dark and Stormy’s. • Meal of choice: Any kind of seafood. I love the linguine and clams from Fiore—it’s cheap and delicious but more of a guilty pleasure. • Favorite group of people to bump into: Nicole Wasilewicz (Free Williamsburg), Katherine Kelly, Melissa Widhson, Caitlin Monahan (Darling Cait), Tommy Eichmann (Alexa Ray Joel), Mike Del Rio, Brittany Mendenhall (ChiChi212), Antwan Duncan (I Think You’re Swell), Victor Castro (Wet Paint Photography), Hannah Rad (Sheena Beaston, East Village Radio), the Finger on the Pulse twins, DJ MSB, and a bunch of people no one reading this has ever heard of.

City Gripes:Nightlife trend you loathe: Fake glasses, models, celebrity/socialite DJs, and Aalex Julian. Oh and ladies, if you are not wearing tights in the middle of winter, you need to get your act together. • Drink: Vodka Cranberry • Meal: Street Meat. Food Chains. Dos Caminos. Group of people to bump into: About 50% of the people I see out on a daily basis…New York City is one big incestuous small world.

Her Hotspots:  Honestly, as a blogger, it’s hard to have a hotspot—I am running around the city attending different events, shows, etc. The best part about living in NYC is the variety—it’s all about having options. Here are some basics. Monday: Jane Hotel Tuesday: Le Souk Harem is giving a solid effort. The Bowery, Avenue, Lit, Gallery Bar…I guess. Wednesday: FOTP BBQ Blowout at Good Co, RDV. Thursday: Il Bagatto, Goldbar. Friday: Above Allen, Dram. Saturday: Day & Night, Le Bain. Sunday: Thompson LES pool party, Jelly Pool Parties/ All Saints Pub, Goldbar.

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Every night: Le Bain, Kenmare, Godlbar, or anywhere local—I usually hang at The Commodore, Maracuja, or Spuyten Duyvil. Wouldn’t be caught dead here: Greenhouse, Marquee, SL, Kiss & Fly, Tenjune, Veranda, Above 14th St.

For special occasions: MILK Studios is a great event space.

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Brunch is usually: To eat, I like to stay local. There’s nothing better than brunch in Brooklyn. My friends and I wind up at Lodge more often than not. If I am going to “brunch” to dance on tables and get wasted, then Day & Night it is. 

NYC Openings: Dram, The Empire Room, Exchange Bar & Grill

Dram (Williamsburg) – Precision cocktailing in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. ● The Empire Room (Garment District) – Deco stunner on the ground floor of the Empire State. ● Exchange Bar & Grill (Gramercy) – Prices that fluctuate with demand help smooth your transition between the market and home.