For this week’s nightcap, we’ll take you to Suffolk Arms in New York’s Lower East Side for a chat with their mixologist, Nick Wright. Suffolk Arms is a modern cocktail pub by third-generation bartender Giuseppe González, whose hospitality-driven approach to mixology has taken center stage. They argue that drinks are now better made than at any point in cocktail history, with drinks devised by today’s pioneering craft bartenders who inspire them, like Julie Reiner, Gaz Regan and Audrey Saunders. They also feature omakase-style cocktails that are customized based on your spirit and flavor preferences. Grab your favorite cocktail as we sit and chat with Nick.
For this week’s nightcap interview we caught up with Russell Dillon, the main man behind the bar at ba’sik in Brooklyn, New York. “Back to the basics” is the inspiration behind ba’sik (pronounced basic), a Williamsburg bar that marks the return of the drinking establishment as a “public house.” Between the flowing drinks we caught up with Russell, the poet/bartender who helped turn ba’sik into an industry favorite. Sit back and grab a “Damn, Dominic!” – we did – as we chat with “the kindest man in the world.”
Portland and London have a lot in common: rain, beer, rain, pubs, rain, and strip clubs. To be honest, that last one might just be Portland, but there’s definitely the rain thing. One recent rainy afternoon we stopped into Raven & Rose for a pint and met Natasha Mesa, self-described “master of current trends, barkeep with flair, expert in conflict resolution, creator of peace, connoisseur of life, professional leg wrestler, drink slinger, and conversationalist,” and, according to Thrillist, one of Portland’s Most Influential & Kick-Ass Bartenders of 2016. Pull up a stool and join us.
We recently mixed it up with Lucinda Sterling, Managing Partner and famed mixologist of Middle Branch in New York. This Colorado native landed in New York in late 2005 and quickly became a bartender at what was then Sasha Petraske’s newest bar, Little Branch. By 2012, her amazing mixology skills led to a full partnership. The industry now considers Lucinda a leader in the mixology movement, with articles in Thrillist, Time Out Magazine, Liquor.com and other well known publications.
Take a sip of history as we discuss the Speakeasy. There’s something alluring about a secret place. Someone tips you off, and just like that, you’re into another world.
Back in the days of Prohibition, if you wanted a drink, you’d most likely find yourself in a speakeasy, an illicit establishment that sold booze, often found “underground” in a garage, a basement or attic; even disguised as soda shops, cafes, and entertainment venues. The name “speakeasy” came about to keep these secret places from the authorities – therefore, the need to whisper or “speak easy” when discussing your drinking plans. The only way to gain access to a speakeasy was to know the address and the password of the night. Sometimes it took a special handshake, or you had to tap-out a secret knock on the door. After Prohibition, speakeasies largely disappeared, but in the past decade, they have seen a resurgence. Use today’s NightOwl trending list to experience top ranked drinking dens across the country that do their best to evoke the mood of the past.
Discover your night with NightOwl. Click HERE for the full list of top trending speakeasies in your city.
Ever wonder why the mere presence of absinthe in your glass needs to be regulated by the FDA? We’re fascinated by absinthe, and with good reason: The anise-flavored spirit is steeped in controversy. Banned for nearly 100 years in the United States and most of Europe, this misunderstood libation – a favorite of artists in 19th-century France – was blamed for all sorts of madness, from hallucinations to murder. And who can resist the ritual of absinthe preparation? The sugar cube, the slotted spoon, the magic of watching the bright green Hellfire-like liquid turn into a milky, iridescent shade as the water releases the essential oils from the alcohol….
So let’s set the Drip Fountain and pull back the milky curtain on some of the most ubiquitous green-fairy tales.
Having spent a good part of the last two decades bar hopping and drinking in Brooklyn, Peter Thomas Fornatale, author of Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough, pulls up a seat for this week’s NightOwl Nightcap. He’s earned an “esteemed man” nod for taking cocktail classes from legendary New York bartender (and author) Dale DeGroff, and spent a summer supporting a horse racing habit by bartending at the acclaimed Chez Sophie in Saratoga Springs. His grandfather, John T. Flynn, was a brand manager at Seagram’s, so it goes without saying – cocktails are in his blood.
With Brooklyn Spirits, Peter shares the love of his favorite bartenders, Brooklyn distillers, restaurateurs, and cocktail aficionados that are changing the way we drink by bringing back old techniques and recipes, and creating new ones that focus on small-batch distilling and fresh, local ingredients. Inspired by this movement, Peter Thomas Fornatale and co-author, Chris Wertz, present an inspiring mix of recipes, profiles, and history – encouraging readers to not only make their own cocktails, but to get involved on a do-it-yourself level. Oh and by the way, signed books can be purchased from the author directly. You will find Peter on Twitter (@loomsboldly); also available wherever books are sold, especially in Brooklyn.