Saturday, March 21, 2009

Next Magazine Review - Good Stiff Ones

On at least several occasions we’ve all had a liquid lunch or drank our dinner. Lord knows I have. Here’s where to do it in stuporous style.

Good Stuff Diner (109 West 14th St @ Sixth Ave, 212-929-2555) makes a good and stiff Singapore Sling ($7.95) with its hefty pour of Bombay gin, cherry liqueur and lime, and we love it the way we love our men: strong and fruity.

Commerce (50 Commerce St, @Barrow, 212-524-2301, pours the best Negroni ($12) I’ve ever had! Masterfully prepared with Hendrick’s gin (itself an infusion of rose petals and cucumber), Campari and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, it’s certainly a strong drink and may take some getting used to, but here its graced by sheer perfumed divinity and Commerce is a wonderful place to be initiated.

The Spiced Vanilla Mojito ($11) is listed as “something cool” on the menu at Smorgas Chef West Village (283 West 12th St @ West 4th Street, 212-243-7073, but for me, this fantastic mix does the trick any time of the year. Muddled limes, ginger and mint dosed with Bacardi over crushed ice is indeed coolly refreshing, but the perverse addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, cracked black pepper and vanilla also makes me want to grab one to go and snuggle with my baby by a roaring fire.

We reveled in the hand-crafted concoctions served from the sprawling bar at Chinatown Brasserie (380 Lafayette St @ Great Jones St, 212-533-7000, while seated at our half-moon banquette underneath whimsical, overblown red lanterns. The Frozen Mai Thai ($10) with Meyer's Platinum Rum, pineapple, lime, orgeat (almond syrup) and a whiskey-soaked cherry is pure, frosty genius.

One of the classic cocktails that Elettaria (33 West 8th St @ MacDougal St, 212-677-3833, lists on its delirious drink menu is the Zombie Punch ($14), circa 1934. I am just wild for it although not terribly familiar with most of its ingredients, to whit: Appleton’s VX, Brugal gold, 151 El Dorado Demerara Rum, lime, Velvet Falernum, and Absinthe 14. But it’s served in a tiki cup with a big straw. Further questions?

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