Perhaps regular old acting was just too easy for Jon Glaser. How else to explain his choice to perform in his sitcom entirely while wearing a black balaclava and using a vocal pitch shifter to disguise his voice? Yet, despite these Harrison Bergeron–style impediments—or perhaps because of them—his performance as a flawed family man who doesn’t let being in witness protection keep him from starring in a reality show is truly inspired.
Delocated, which recently began its third season on Adult Swim, follows “Jon” as he tries to make a life in New York while avoiding getting rubbed out by the Russian mafia for testifying against them. In the process, his wife walks out on him, leaving him foundering in a world of awkward moments with his bodyguard, the sudden death of Paul Rudd, and a small business called the Rage Cage. It’s weird late-night TV at its finest, and Glaser, a comedy world veteran who was on the writing staff of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, seems perfectly suited to the role, which draws inspiration from countless sources.
"There are a lot of elements of my dad in that character,” Glaser says as he settles into a booth at Lilium, a sleek new bar beneath New York’s W Union Square hotel adorned with sculptural black steel lilies and a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack. “He came to visit the set last spring while I was in character, and I could see the resemblance.” We’re here to sample a series of cocktails that embrace the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day while elevating it beyond green beer and Irish car bombs, hoping to add a touch of class to a holiday often associated with debauchery and loutish behavior. Our bartender this evening is Michelle Romano, a fetching, raven-haired lass with a mastery of flavor, balance, and presentation and the admirable ability to suffer fools gladly. Throughout the course of the night, we sample seven sublime cocktails that capture the essence of the holiday while encouraging us to stay on our best behavior—sort of.
Muddle 3 pieces of fresh ginger and 5 stalks of lemongrass in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 2 oz Żubrówka bison grass vodka, .5 oz simple syrup, and .5 oz fresh lemon juice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a stalk of lemongrass.
"It’s very good; clean and not too tart, like a mojito but lighter. I’m going to have to make an effort to not drink it all. It’s a bookend drink—it could work at the beginning or the end of the night. A strong start.”
Jameson & Ginger All Grown Up
Muddle 5 pieces of fresh ginger in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 1.5 oz Jameson Gold Irish Whiskey. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with skewered ginger.
"It’s smooth. The ginger really complements the whiskey. It seems impressive, the kind of drink some young Wall Street dude who flirts with the bartender would order. ‘Gimme a Jameson Gold and ginger beer, babe!’”
Red Breasted Lady
Combine 2 oz Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, .5 oz pure maple syrup, and .75 oz fresh lemon juice in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon peel.
"I’m surprised I like it as much as I do, but the maple syrup and lemon blend really well. It’s a good combination of flavors and very easy to drink. This seems like it should be the official drink of the band Hot Hot Heat.”
Combine 2 oz Bushmills Irish Whiskey, .5 oz antica liqueur, .5 oz Cherry Heering, and 2 dashes bitters in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an absinthe-washed rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Rub the rim and garnish with a freshly peeled orange twist.
“This is delicious. I love the deep red color. It’s so well mixed—this Michelle is a great bartender. It reminds me of the kind of drink my grandfather on my mom’s side, Sol Stein, would drink. He drove an orange Stingray convertible. This drink says ‘This is who I am!’ In the future, cocktails are going to have little legs, and if you don’t like them they’ll walk back to the bar and kill themselves.”
Combine 1.75 oz Original Moonshine Clear Corn Whiskey, .5 oz Cointreau, .75 oz antica liqueur, and 3 dashes orange bitters in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Rub the rim and garnish with a freshly peeled lemon twist.
“This is tasty, and it’s also the strongest drink we’ve had. With every sip it becomes more delicious. Michelle clearly rubbed the rim on this one. I’d imagine some character named Cool Joe, who wears a brown turtleneck and a mustard yellow cardigan, would drink this drink. He doesn’t even like it that much, he just thinks it’s going to make him look good.”
Irish Iced Coffee Martini
Combine 2 oz Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey, 1 oz fresh-brewed espresso, and 1 oz simple syrup in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with 3 coffee beans.
“This is a nightcap to get you to your daycap. The coffee taste is just too strong for me right now. It reminds me of the time I forced myself to drink Stroh’s in an attic. Some post-frat/sorority couple drinks this in Aspen on a ski trip after they had anal sex for the first time and they’re trying to work out their relationship. This might have messed things up for them.”
Kilbeggan 18 Year Old Irish Whiskey
Serve neat in whiskey tumbler.
“It’s smooth, soft, and fluffy, like drinking a glass of kittens. There’s a good balance between the throat burn and the satisfaction. With every sip it feels like you’re conquering fear, and then you look forward and see the blue sky. I imagine that this whiskey is made in some distillery built into the cliffs of Kilbeggan, where there’s an 89–degree drop, and the only way you can get there is by rappelling—or you can take these egg elevators like they have in the St. Louis arch.”