Wanted to put a plug in for a NYC bar that I finally managed to visit last night. This place has been around for a couple of years and is in the vanguard of the new cocktail movement. It is often called "molecular mixology" but barkeep Eben Freeman dislikes that term. Anyway, the playful inventiveness of the menu is obvious and the resulting drinks are great.
I started off with the Waylon. Simple, bourbon and smoked coke. But the simple addition of the flavor of smoke to something as predictable as b & c actually brought a smile to my lips on first sip. Followed this up with pours of Pumpernickel Raisin Scotch and Cedar Bourbon. Both of them outstanding. Again, smile-inducing to taste liquor that is still identifiably itself and yet something completely other. And the flavors of each so loaded with associations. It was hard not to imagine an Adirondack cabin while sipping the Cedar Bourbon.
My girlfriend opted for the Crumble, brown butter rum, clove, and poire. Maybe the best cocktail of the night. Absolutely perfectly balanced. Served on a single monster ice cube like the Waylon. The clove was well back in the mix and the rich mouthfeel of the rum was even with the pear cider. Got even better as it sat.
Finally the Rooi Moer, rooibos gin, lemon, chenin blance, apricot liqueur. A fancy gin sour. A touch astringent with the tea flavor and the lemon forward, but thankfully not too sweet. Again very well layered.
The food was good and fun as well. Pulled duck and blue corn corndogs.
What's really great about this place is the absolute lack of pretension. This is in striking contrast to so many "classic" NYC cocktail places where speakeasy preciousness has overwhelmed barness. For all the fillips on the drinks, this place is still a bar, albeit an unusual one. The majority of the small crowd was drinking beer.
If you're in NYC and want to try out some cutting edge mixology, Tailor is well worth a stop. Or if you just want to enjoy a shot and smile while doing it, it will also fill the bill.