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This Week in Food: Prohibition Repeal Day, Restaurants That Changed America, Raaka Party

Prohibition Repeal Day
Analogue (19 West 8th Street)
Monday, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Toast the historic repeal of Prohibition with a menu of classic cocktails like Bee’s Knees, Sidecars, and Sazeracs. In addition to live jazz performances, a full food and drink menu will be available.

Paul Freedman, Ten Restaurants That Changed America
The New York Society Library (53 East 79th Street)
Wednesday, 6:30 PM

Join Author Paul Freedman as he discusses his book Ten Restaurants That Changed America, which includes New York favorites like Delmonico’s and Sylvia’s. Admission starts at $10 and advanced registration is required.

Food and the Chinese-American Journey: A Conversation with Anne Mendelson and Kian Lam Kho
Museum Of Chinese In America (215 Centre Street)
Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
.

Author Anne Mendelson and food writer Kiam Lam Kho will lead a conversation on the origins and development of American-based Chinese food. Tickets ($40 for general admission) include admission to the museum’s current exhibition and a reception which will feature dishes from Kho’s book, including red cooked pork in steamed buns.

How NYC’s Public Markets Drive Bakeries Forward
Essex Street Market (120 Essex Street)
Thursday, 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m.

Learn the real stories behind New York’s beloved bakeries at this free talk and tasting that champions bread. Get an in depth look at food production and distribution, with a focus on the role public markets play in NYC’s food system. Guest speakers include Gene Davidovich from Davidovich Bakery and a special guest from Eataly.

Holiday Chocolate Gift-Making Party
Raaka (64 Seabring Street, Brooklyn)
Friday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Enjoy kid friendly and “adult” hot chocolates courtesy of a Raaka Chocolate and Van Brunt Stillhouse before creating chocolate gifts for your friends and family. Guests will be able to pour, design, and wrap individual chocolate bars, bark, and other holiday-themed sweets.

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Best Weekend Food Events: Shakespearean Pop-Up, Coffee Party, Battle of the Belgians

Midwinter Night’s Dream Holiday Cocktail Bar
NYLO New York City (222 West 77th Street)
Friday through January 1

For the month of December, LOCL Bar is now offering a holiday escape by offering guests a chance to experience a real-life version of A Midwinter Night’s Dream. Cody Goldstein’s Shakespearean-inspired drinks include the transformative Love in Idleness cocktail, which changes color from white to purple.

Rolled Ice Cream Tasting Event
10Below Ice Cream (132 Allen Street)
Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Help 10Below Ice Cream decide the shop’s newest featured flavor — and sample a bunch of their rolled ice cream in the process. The one-night-only event will highlight eight flavors — including Lean Mean Red Bean Machine (red bean and condensed milk), Honey I’ll Cashew Later (cashew and honey), and Booberry Pie (blueberry and Nilla Wafers). Tickets are $10. RSVP here.

Coffee Party
Blue Bottle Williamsburg (160 Berry Street, Brooklyn)
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Sample Blue Bottle’s new coffee blend and watch a demonstration by the shop’s baristas. The free event will also include brunch snacks.

Battle of the Belgians
Jimmy’s No. 43 (43 East 7th Street)
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Taste over twenty different samples of Belgian and American-made Belgian-style brews at this annual showdown, which also includes food. Grab your ticket ($65) here.

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Poción Lounge Delights With Tincture-Tinged Coctails and Vegan Tapas

“I wanted to make you something from my heritage,” says bartender Jairo Taveras of Poción Lounge in Washington Heights, handing me a dark-rum-based cocktail garnished with a flaming stick of palo santo bark. “It’s Dominican mixology.” The richly sweet beverage is a theatrical take on Mama Juana, in which rum, red wine, and honey soak with tree bark and herbs. For a young woman sitting with a date at the bar, Taveras makes another drink special — this one, in the spirit of Halloween, a beet-red vodka number poured into a skull-shaped glass. She’s charmed.

You have to be looking for Poción to discover its delights, or you might just stumble in because the wine bar next door, Kazza, is too packed. The vegan tapas spot, open since June, is accented with lime-green light and sits right off Broadway on 177th Street, past the spinning rotisserie chickens at Malecon and a few brightly lit slice joints. The wall off to the side of the bar bears the words, “We serve booze with nutritious boosters.”

Whether or not those additions actually work, the drinks, at least, mostly do. A ginger elixir made with Jameson whiskey, demerara syrup, lime juice, pressed ginger, bitters, a tincture of avocado leaf and cloves, and sparkling water tastes fresh — indeed, almost good for you. More akin to a botanical soda is the flor de uva, composed of cava, elderflower liqueur, and a lily and hibiscus flower infusion; it’s pretty, and comes served in a Champagne flute. The Pachamama, meanwhile, which combines gin, mezcal, agave, lime and kale juice, and guanabana tincture, is a rare misstep: The smoky mezcal and bitter kale fight for dominance on your palate.

As for the tapas offerings (hot and cold plates are around $8 apiece), opt for the avocado and pineapple ceviche, which is nicely acidic. Skip the “hummus trilogy”: The blend of turmeric, chipotle, and spinach variations beats a tub of Sabra, but the portions are small. Both dishes are served with tortilla chips and a scattering of excellent brown and blistered yucca fries that will make you want a full order. (Unfortunately, they’re not on the menu.)

Of the hot dishes, the two baked empanadas are flaky and filling: must-orders. One is filled with a curried mushroom and tofu, while the other (and better) is stuffed with tofu cooked in a traditional sofrito. Another classic Dominican dish, the pastelón de plátano maduro, would benefit from a seasoning adjustment; usually made with cheese and beef, the sweet plantain mash here lacks the depth of those flavors.

When it comes to dessert, the chia crème brûlée is a surprising win. Creamy vegan desserts made with soy milk often have a gritty texture thanks to too much agar or starch, but this one is smooth; the burnt sugar crust and rich custard base are rounded out by the freshness of a strawberry-pineapple compote. There’s no way this treat is medicinal — but it’s the indulgence itself that just might be good for you.

Poción Lounge
704 West 177th Street
917-472-7336, pocionlounge.com

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This Week in Food: Dirt Candy Takeover, Cocktails and Coloring Books, National Oyster Day

Dirt Candy Takeover
Huertas (107 First Avenue)
Monday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Chef Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy will take over the pintxo menu board on Monday night at Huertas. The menu will include vegetarian bites like zucchini takoyaki, carrot sliders, and tomato tarts.

Cocktails + Coloring for National Coloring Book Day
Sky Terrace and Hudson Common (358 West 58th Street)
Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

On National Coloring Book Day, get inspired with a drink in one hand and a colored pencil in the other. The Bar at Sky Terrace and Hudson Common will offer special rainbow sour cocktails — a white wine sangria with Bombay Sapphire, agave, watermelon, and pampelonne rosé — in celebration of the holiday. Those that order the drink will get a free coloring book to help them exercise their artistic talents.

Brooklyn Pizza: The Search for Authenticity

Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn)
Thursday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m

How did pizza become one of New York’s favorite foods? Pizza historian Scott Wiener — along with some of Brooklyn’s most beloved pizza makers — will try to get to the crust crux of the matter at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The night’s lineup of pizzerias includes a classic slice joint, a coal-fired pizza parlor, a Neapolitan pizzeria, and a modern pizza maker. Tickets are $12 for general admission. Reserve yours here.

Vins de Bordeaux Summer Thursday Party
Piora (430 Hudson Street)
Thursday, 9:30 p.m. until late

Sip on wines from France’s famed Bordeaux region while taking in a burlesque performance at this nighttime affair. Guests can also nosh on cheese from Murray’s and puff on Nat Sherman cigars while listening to an accordion player and a jazz band at Piora. Tickets are $35. Reserve yours here.

National Oyster Day

McCarren Hotel & Pool (160 North 12th Street, Brooklyn)
Friday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Celebrate National Oyster Day at McCarren Hotel & Pool with specials on the bivalves during dinner. What’s available? Cupcake oysters ($1) along with Hammersley Island Creek and Beausoleil oysters ($3). There will also be a fried Blue Point oyster po’ boy sandwich. The offer will be available at the hotel’s rooftop as well as at Oleanders.

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Salad Dressing in a Drink? The Daisy’s Vodka Monaco Cocktail Will Convert You

Ian Kearney, beverage director at the Daisy (1641 Second Avenue; 646-964-5756), admits that a drink combining elderflower liqueur and raspberry might sound a little weird. However, when tasked with creating a vodka-based drink for the new agave spirits-focused gastropub, Kearney found himself drawn to these two ingredients. (Because you know there’s always that one friend who doesn’t feel like tequila or mezcal.)

Kearney didn’t want to do another standard sweet- or fruit-focused vodka drink, but he still wanted to keep that raspberry-and-floral flavor. After trying a variety of combinations that didn’t create the lasting impact necessary to score a spot on the Daisy’s menu, Kearney had a vision one night. “I’m going to make this drink taste like salad,” he thought.

The missing component? Red wine vinegar.

After grabbing a bottle from the kitchen, Kearney used red wine vinegar in the drink and found it added the “tickle” that gives a cocktail that additional, unforgettable element. Red wine vinegar was also chosen because of its grape-like taste and color (as opposed to apple cider vinegar).

“If they try [the Vodka Monaco], and they like it — the rest of the cocktails will be a lot more approachable,” Kearney says.

The cocktail itself is, as one might expect, pungent upon the first whiff. To balance and brighten up the acidity, Kearney added a lemon twist and a cucumber for a mellow, refreshing dive into the heart of the cocktail. Though a few guests may pause when learning vinegar is a part of the cocktail, Kearney knows that vodka is the most approachable spirit out there for a majority of drinkers. That alone should be enough to entice people to give the Vodka Monaco a try.

“I wanted this drink to appeal to people who really love vodka and to those who are interested in a more dynamic cocktail,” he explains.

Developing the drink made lasting impact on Kearney’s perspective of what flavor combinations are winners. “My observation of vinaigrettes is a lot more serious,” notes Kearney, who thinks the funkiness of red wine vinegar could be a go-to ingredient in his future drinks.

Vodka Monaco, by the Daisy’s Ian Kearney

1.5 oz Tito’s Vodka
.75 oz St. Germain
.25 oz Crème de Framboise (Kearney uses Giffard)
.25 oz red wine vinegar
Muddled cucumber slices

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain over ice in a rocks glass (pictured above). For garnishes, slice cucumber and a lemon peel for a little extra expression.

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At Belle Shoals, Make Your Own Grand Marnier Cocktail

Though coolers of ice-cold beer may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “fishing trip,” Jimmy Palumbo of Belle Shoals (10 Hope Street, Brooklyn; 718-218-6027) thinks of Grand Marnier. Known fondly as “Jimbo,” the North Carolina native has an appreciation of the orange-flavored liqueur thanks to his father’s surf-fishing outings to North Carolina’s Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks. And indeed, the spirit’s warm burn offers the perfect metaphor for the area’s famed howling winds.

When Palumbo was tapped as the head bartender of Belle Shoals — a bar modeled after a fictional Southern town, with hospitable touches like Cheerwine, fried duck leg on a biscuit, and po’boys — making room for a Grand Marnier cocktail was a must. “If you go to Charleston and Georgia, and a lot of places in the South, you’ll see people drinking Grand Marnier straight,” says Palumbo. “It’s an eighty-proof spirit. It’s designed to be something you could sip as a base of a cocktail. We wanted to kind of highlight and focus on that. We wanted to figure out a way to kind of incorporate [the idea] that people drink [Grand Marnier] straight, so then we had the idea of using mini-bottles.”

The result? The Auntie Bellum, a cocktail that allows guests to get involved in the mix — literally. A TSA-friendly mini-bottle of Grand Marnier sits nestled on a bed of crushed ice at the top of the cocktail for guests to add. The amount of that sweet orange spirit to put in the drink is left completely up to them.

While the Grand Marnier is perfectly enjoyable on its own, Palumbo wanted to demonstrate the drink’s versatility — and not just in dishes like duck à l’orange and crêpes suzette. Like at most Southern-themed bars, food is an integral part of the experience here, so pairing drinks with the menu was equally important to Palumbo. And in some cases, Southern dishes inspired the actual drinks — like the Auntie Bellum.

“We just had to figure out a culinary thing that could also fit with [Grand Marnier]. Immediately, we went with the ambrosia salad — everybody’s favorite winner for the potluck,” Palumbo explains. The classic ambrosia salad recipe varies depending on who’s making it, but common ingredients include oranges, coconut, toasted marshmallow, sugar, nuts, and fresh citrus.

“The main challenge for that was to make sure we weren’t making a drink that was just a dessert… that was too sweet,” Palumbo notes. To help stifle some of the sweetness in the ambrosia-inspired cocktail, he chose coconut water to make his coconut syrup. The bartender also opted for a Lustau Amontillado sherry for its notes of toasted almond, fresh lemon juice for acidity, and tiki bitters to add some island spice.

Palumbo was mindful in choosing specific ingredients to ensure nothing would damage the purity of the Grand Marnier. By allowing guests to add in the orange flavor, they’re able to devise their own final touch to an ambrosia salad designed for the liquid-diet crowd. The toasted marshmallow garnish was added to give guests the textural sensation of that crispy, creamy feeling found in a spoonful of the actual dessert. “When you eat that salad, if that flavor, marshmallow, wasn’t there, it would just be that weird filling of a pie without the pie,” explains Palumbo. “You kind of need that toasty marshmallow flavor to tie it all back around.”

Finally, for guests who just want to sip on a sherry cocktail and keep the Grand Marnier accompaniment for a nightcap, that’s fine, too. “Whatever you want to make of this cocktail — go nuts!” jokes Palumbo.

Palumbo gave the Voice the recipe for those of you who’d like to try the Auntie Bellum at home — though you’ll be missing out on Belle Shoals’ vintage Wurlitzer jukebox.

Auntie Bellum by Jimmy “Jimbo” Palumbo of Belle Shoals

.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 mini bottle of Grand Marnier
.5 Lustau Amontillado Sherry
.5 oz. coconut syrup
3 dashes tiki bitters

Combine all ingredients except the Grand Marnier. “Whip shake” the ingredients with crushed ice and dirty-dump (pour the ingredients without straining) into a lowball glass. Add more crushed ice and top with the Grand Marnier mini-bottle and a skewer of toasted mini-marshmallows.

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Need a Good Group Cocktail? Dive Into Insa’s Modern Scorpion Bowl

Some drinks are made to sip quietly in dark corners, while others are meant to be shared in big spaces filled with the sound of friends toasting each other. The Scorpion Bowl is the latter, and it’s a drink that pairs particularly well with the Korean barbecue at Insa (718-855-2620; 328 Douglass Street, Brooklyn).

Dillon Mafit, head bartender at Insa, became a Korean-food addict when he moved to New York. The first time Mafit wandered to K-Town was exceptionally memorable because he’d never tried Korean barbecue before. He was smitten — which might explain why Mafit was so inspired to create an epic drink list for Insa. He wanted to make drinks that could stand up to the hearty, spicy flavors in Korean cuisine. Mafit eventually settled on one of the menu’s standouts, the scorpion bowl, because the drink (like the barbecue) was strong and meant to be shared.

“It was called the Scorpion because it delivered a sting the next day because it was so potent,” Mafit explains. He thinks the cocktail pairs particularly well with Insa’s menu because “there are so many spices and flavors going on [with the food menu], it’s really nice to have something that is bright and citrusy.”

To make a drink meant to be shared by up to six people, Mafit based the recipe on a single serving — similar to how the original Scorpion was thought to be made at the Hut bar in Hawaii. The basic elements of the drink are consistent across the board: rum, orange juice, orgeat syrup, and gin. The variations on those ingredients (and the addition of others, like brandy or cognac) depend on the bartender’s imagination.

Mafit selected a dark rum that wasn’t too sweet but was heavy on molasses. He also chose a straightforward cognac and Gordon’s dry gin thanks to its mild floral notes. Mafit’s version of the Scorpion Bowl also includes two unique deviations from the original recipe: plum wine and toasted cinnamon. The plum wine fits in with Insa’s theme (Mafit uses it in place of a grenadine floater), while the flaming cinnamon stick provides a nice aroma and visuals. After all, when you’re out drinking with your friends, it’s fun to have the drink put on a show.

When crafting the large-format beverage, Mafit approaches it like he’s making any other single-serving cocktail. “You always start small, perfecting the ratio as a smaller drink,” he says. “I do a lot of keg cocktails, bigger cocktails. From that, I have an understanding of how to move proportions and keep them the same. If you do it right, there’s not really much of a change that occurs with the drink.”

For guests who only associate Scorpion Bowls with the spring breaks of many years past, Mafit believes the hangover special deserves a new, ballyhooed rep. After all, the era of “serious” tiki drinks is upon us.

“We’re kind of entering an era where people are moving beyond the 1920s Prohibition idea,” says Mafit. “These are the drinks that need to be made and taught.”

Mafit’s recipe for both a single-serving and party-size Scorpion Bowl can be found below. He notes that the drink gets better the longer it sits — so you don’t have to polish off a party bowl in one sitting.

Scorpion Bowl (Single Serving) by Dillon Mafit
2 oz Gordon’s Gin
1 oz Eldorado Dark Rum
1 oz Paul Masson
1 oz Plum wine
2 oz Pineapple orange juice
0.5 oz Orgeat
0.5 oz Cinnamon syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
1 Flaming cinnamon stick*

To make a party bowl (32 oz / 1 quart )
8 oz Gordon’s Gin
4 oz Eldorado Dark Rum
4 oz Paul Masson
4 oz Plum wine
8 oz Pineapple orange juice
2 oz Orgeat
2 oz Cinnamon syrup
4 dashes angostura bitters
1 Flaming cinnamon stick

*To prepare flaming cinnamon stick, soak in 151-proof rum for at least 5–10 minutes before lighting

Single Serving: Pour all ingredients — except cinnamon stick garnish — in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain and serve in a pint glass with fresh ice. Garnish with flaming cinnamon stick.

Party Bowl Serving: Pour all ingredients into a large bowl along with several large scoops of ice and stir until mixed thoroughly. (If you have quart-sized container with a tight seal, then the party-sized bowl can be shaken without ice prior to pouring into a serving bowl with ice.)

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This Week in Food: Eighties Night, Guest Chef at Tasca Chino, and St. Patrick’s Day

Eighties Night With Guest Bartender Danny Neff, Pouring Ribbons, 225 Avenue B, Monday, 6 p.m.

Grab an Eighties-themed cocktail or keep it simple with Jell-O shots from Pouring Ribbon’s Amanda Elder and guest bartender Danny Neff of Holiday Cocktail Lounge. Eighties-inspired attire is encouraged — think acid-washed jeans — and cocktails will be priced at $13 for the night. This week’s installment is based off the movie Weird Science, with future menus set to be based on other pop phenomenons from the decade of big hair.

A Collaboration of Flavors Dinner, Tasca Chino, 245 Park Avenue South, Wednesday

Bar Bolonat’s Einat Admony will team up with Tasca Chino’s Shahaf Shabtay for a special, globally inspired menu, which will be available for one night only. Select dishes include a seafood market bowl, Chinese-style duck, and beef tenderloin with apple shallot wasabi.

The Big Meat: 18th-Century Tavern Food, Greenpoint Beer & Ale, 7 N. 15th Street, Brooklyn, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Eat your way through the era of the American Revolution with smoked oysters, succotash, and roasted lamb at this educational dinner. The dining experience — which was created in collaboration with Old Stone House Director of Education Maggie Weber — will feature historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman, who will shed light on the eating habits of America’s founding families. Tickets are $70 (gratuity not included). Reserve them here.

St. Patrick’s Day, Multiple Locations, Thursday

Grab a Guinness or Irish whiskey at the Dead Rabbit during happy hour in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., bartenders will serve complimentary Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey cocktails, brew pairings, and pours of whiskey. At KTCHN, diners will be treated to an Irish jam session for $10, starting at 7 p.m., where members of the original Broadway cast of Once will perform live. KTCHN’s special dinner menu will include Reuben fritters, fish and chips, and themed cocktails. Those looking to avoid the bar scene can snag whiskey-flavored ice cream at Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. or a special St. Patrick’s Day milkshake at Black Tap.

The Birth of Saké Opening Night, IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue, Friday

Explore the ins and outs of sake brewing at the opening-night screening of The Birth of Saké. The film explores the ancient art of sake brewing at the Yoshida Brewery and the family that is keeping these traditional techniques alive.

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This Is Why You Should Put Activated Charcoal in Your Cocktail

Though many drinks are timeless classics, others owe their existence to classic timing. Such is the case of Beauty & Essex‘s (146 Essex Street; 212-614-0146) Black Tie White Noise cocktail, which features an ingredient that’s growing in popularity right now: activated charcoal.

“The best thing the charcoal does is it gives [the drink] a chalky texture,” explains bartender Carlos Abeyta, who adds that the ingredient doesn’t necessarily have an overpowering flavor. However, you will need to look at charcoal as more than just a necessity for summer barbecues.

“We always want to try things that are a little different,” says Abeyta. Given the establishment’s beauty-related name, as well as activated charcoal’s recent fame as a beneficial skin product, the idea of using the nontraditional ingredient was easy to support.

The activated charcoal gives the drink a memorable texture that makes it fun to sip, and it’s also catching on with bartenders thanks to the color it creates. Abeyta explains that the ingredient can dye a drink black without it being too thick and sticky. “Darker ingredients are going to be a little more viscous,” says Abeyta. After testing the charcoal with water and several spirits, Abeyta and general manager Vincent DeGrezia crafted a cocktail that was ready to be put on the menu.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte, a heavily peated scotch, was included in the drink because of its rich smokiness and similarities to charcoal’s odor, while Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey (which is filtered twice through — you guessed it — charcoal) was used to bring a smooth, stable heat. To balance out the cocktail, simple syrup, lemon juice, yellow chartreuse, and Angostura bitters break through the charcoal’s chalky texture and lead to equally enticing flavors.

“If you want to step outside your boundaries, it’s definitely the right move to do,” says Abeyta, which may be why naming the drink after a David Bowie album — recorded by an artist who defied boundaries — was most appropriate.

Below, find the recipe for Black Tie White Noise, so you can give activated charcoal a try at home.

Black Tie White Noise at Beauty & Essex

.5 oz simple syrup
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1.5 oz Gentlemen Jack
.25 oz Bruichladdich Port Charlotte scotch
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 capsule activated charcoal

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake. Pour into a coupe cocktail glass.

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Craving a Margarita, but Not Tequila? Try the St. Mark’s Cocktail at David’s Café

Rael Petit, beverage consultant at David’s Café (110 St. Marks Place; 646-678-3206), is known for creating cocktails on the fly. His ability to create of-the-moment cocktails brought him, appropriately, to what might be the most spontaneous street in New York: St. Mark’s Place. There, he created a menu for David’s Café without the use of hard liquor, since the restaurant only has a beer and wine license right now.

Petit, a native of Switzerland, also dealt with the challenges of using his intuition to create cocktails at the Mulberry Project. Throughout his career he’s been able to build upon classic recipes, which is how he helped structure the menu at David’s Café using only fortified wines. Petit notes the benefits of working within the realm of just beer and wine: “It’s good. It shows your creativity. Utilize what you have.”

One of the classic drinks that Petit is especially fond of is the margarita, which is why he always aims to have a spicy drink on any menu he builds. At David’s Café, that drink is the St. Mark’s cocktail, which is a margarita’s doppelgänger — despite not having a drop of tequila or mezcal.

Fresh flavors — like red bell pepper, jalapeños, and cilantro — are all used to balance the sweetness and bitterness of  aperitif wines Cocchi Americano and Byrrh. Cocchi Americano, an Italian white wine aperitif fortified with brandy, has a touch of sweetness thanks to bittering agents like gentian root and orange peel. Quinine lends the red wine aperitif Byrrh a lemony bite. While fortified wines list ingredients that sound like they’d more likely be found in a science experiment than a drink, they usually hover around twenty percent alcohol by volume. That means these cocktails are easier to sip on than spirit-based drinks.

Petit recommends pairing the cocktail with chef David Malbequi’s sardine rillettes, because of their saltiness and texture. “I try to look at what the chef does and what ingredients he uses,” explains Petit.

The recipe, for those interested in making the drink at home, is below.

St. Mark’s cocktail by Rael Petit
Ingredients:
– 2 slices red bell pepper
– 1 slice jalapeño
– 2 sprigs cilantro
– 1.5 oz Cocchi Americano
– 1/2 oz. Byrrh
– 1/2 oz. agave
– 1/2 oz. lemon juice

Directions:
Muddle the first three ingredients (saving one red pepper slice and one sprig of cilantro for garnish) and combine with the remaining ingredients. Shake and serve in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with remaining cilantro sprig and slice of red pepper.