So, you fancy you some good old boy Rye whiskey – don’t cha? Well, the epitome of haute culture Rye drinks is, hands-down, the Classic Manhattan Cocktail. Even though many a bartender claim to be itimately familiar with the ingredients, I’ve seen tons of folks, calling themselves “bartenders,” completely screw this drink up. Knowing a cocktail’s contents does not equate to knowing how to prepare, proportion, mix, garnish and serve – even one as seemingly simple as a Manhattan.
It’s unfortunate, in NYC at least, that a large percentage – if not the majority – of bars you’ll frequent, really should not pass for “bars” at all. Rather, they are trendy nightlife establishments that happen to serve alcohol and are staffed, yet again, by eye-candy that are focused neither on customer service (in the traditional sense) nor speed – enough said. In contrast, thankfully, there are also dozens/hundreds of boutique, hipsterish, low-key venues that do focus on quality homemade ingredients, aesthetics, mixology, atmosphere, individuality, and proper preparation. Befittingly, they are almost always owned and/or staffed by some seriously OCD mixologists with a love of all things old school and classy. Some of them can be found in my Pub Crawl. Places like, Please Don’t Tell, Dram and Raines Law Room illustrate the point.