It’s Friday night in New York’s East Village, and everybody’s partying. The Studio under Webster Hall, one of the city’s most enduring nightclubs, is filled to capacity. Actor and comedian Eric Andre has taken his twisted talk show, The Eric Andre Show, on the road, and the crowd can’t wait to be a part of it. The moment he hits the stage, the room explodes with noise and energy, but Andre’s the wildest one in it, jumping out from behind a curtain and immediately tossing drinks, destroying his cardboard desk, knocking over a globe, diving into the audience, and bringing people on stage to dance with him. Just as suddenly, he settles down with exaggerated gravitas to interview guests ranging from the real Sally Jessy Raphael to a fake Russell Brand. Andre shows films of man-on-the-street bits—one involving him arriving at a Mensa meeting dressed in a suit of armor—and hams it up with bits like Doc Chicken, which involves a rubber fowl wearing a stethoscope flying across the stage suspended from a string while disco music plays. His show has only been on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim for one season, but his fan base is devoted, following every movement of the wild-haired, 29-year-old, Haitian-Jewish-American entertainer.
And now it’s Saturday night in Chelsea, and Andre and I are at *The Tippler, an industrial-chic cocktail bar beneath Chelsea Market that raises mixology to an art form. As we take our seats, Andre tells me that he’s as surprised as anyone about the success of his live show. “I was expecting three people in the audience,” he says. “And two of them would be bartenders.” Here comes a bartender now. Alan Denniberg—who also plays in a band called Jen Urban & the Box—is mixing us a selection of cocktails that represent the cutting edge of ingredients, flavors, and presentation, and we’re loving it. Andre’s not as animated as he is on stage, where he risks serious injury with every flop and dive (“The adrenaline protects me,” he says), but he’s just as sharp and funny, riffing off the various drinks that Denniberg delivers, a mix of Tippler house cocktails and his own recipes. We spend two hours hanging out before Andre heads to the airport to fly back to Los Angeles, where, in addition to his own show, he appears in the ABC sitcom Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. But first, cocktails.
Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka, Averna Sambuca Agrumi, Honey Syrup, Cucumber Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Lemon Juice, Mint, Bittercube Jamaican #1 Bitters.
“This is nice. I want to drink it outside. It makes me want to put on a bathrobe and go sit in a meadow with my taint touching the grass. It feels healthy, like the spirit of Jack LaLanne on a juice fast.”
Redemption Rye Whiskey, Absinthe, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters.
“Oh that’s good. I wish I had this when I was younger, along with some Charleston Chew and some hash, so I could watch Ninja Turtles ironically. This is Muppet blood. It’s what you get when you jam Gonzo into a meat grinder.”
Compass Box Great King St. Blended Scotch, Smith & Cross Navy Strength Rum, Cynar, Allspice Dram, Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub Bitters.
“This is deceiving because there’s a slice of grapefruit in it. It looks sweet but it tastes like a curmudgeonly writer. It’s like putting a little pink top hat on Charles Bukowski’s head.”
El Dorado 3-Year-Old White Rum, Plymouth Gin, Crème de Violette, Luxardo Maraschino, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Champagne.
“Wow, this is floral. It’s like a bouquet of roses bukkake-ing on my face. This is what the cougar at the wedding drinks.”
The Buck Stops Here
Santa Teresa 1796 Solera-Aged Rum, Fernet-Branca, Orgeat, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Ginger Beer.
“This one is like a delicious cake with nutrients. I feel like it’s improving my health. It’s something your doctor would prescribe for you, if your doctor is Dr. Awesome.”
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