The Art of the Good Cocktail, Gangs of NY Style

If you enjoy watching a good bartender do what they love, and you understand the history behind America’s old school cocktails, you will adore this place. It’s small and intimate and takes you back in time, before Prohibition, to an era where raspberry flavored vodka would have been poured down the gutter. This place wrote the book on mixology, literally. Their menu is a hardbound book with a history of the enterprise and a bit about the neighborhood and its rascals. Inside are 64 unique cocktails from the refreshing and beautiful to look at, to those that will keep your taste buds wondering what’s coming next. If you want to remember the experience, you can buy one to take home with you.

Wait for a space upstairs, it’s completely worth it. Dress to the nines, you’ll feel right at home. The bartenders are highly educated (some of them PhD) and have hands like surgeons, timing like Swiss clockmakers and enough bottles of tinctures to make any pharmacist jealous.

The piano player wrote the book on ragtime, literally, published just this year. And he’ll make you expect a steam locomotive and a cattle drive to come through town. This is one of the highest rated bars in the world and the staff are at the top of their game.

If you’re the type of guy who can pull off a bowtie and braces, wear ‘em. Ladies, you’ll wish you had petticoats, but a cocktail dress will suit you nicely here too. Plan to take your time, read, ask questions, read some more and then savor the artwork that comes in your glass. Drink it slowly and go back to the book for another round.

If you prefer Bud Light or Rum and Coke, don’t set foot in here. It’ll be wasted on you and you’ll be pissed off that your drink takes some time to make.

By the way, though it pales in comparison to the drinks, the food is good, upscale, small portioned bites of pub-style deliciousness. Tip well, everyone in this joint deserves it.

Robin Behl, La Cuentista

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