Artisan Goes Dive Bar: Mixologists’ Guilty Pleasures
By Emily Bell with Will Blunt, Nils Arrington, Zac Overman and Vicky Wasik
When you spend your nights crafting cocktails for a discerning New York audience, your after-work drink of choice is rarely going to be of the artisanal, meticulously-composed variety you’ve only just finished serving. No brandy-soaked cherry garnishes or house-made bitters for you. You’re more likely to head for the nearest—and frostiest—beer to accompany a shot of something strong. But when we polled New York area mixologists, Manhattan- and Brooklyn-bound alike, we found a surprising variety of “guilty pleasures,” our name for the kind of drinks that will never show up on a sophisticated cocktail menu (in other words, the kind of stuff a hard-working bartender craves). In a city like New York, where you’re as cool (or authentic) as your clothes, car, or, in this case, cocktail, mixologist’s have a right to be slightly self-conscious of what they drink. But it turns out local mixologists like to unwind with everything from champagne—although you’ve got to be careful where you order it—to a classic Negroni to a gag-inducing shot of straight Fernet Branca. Not that we’re trying to expose their dirty swill-swigging secrets. We’re just glad to know that even though they slake our thirst with some of the most sophisticated, well-designed drinks out there, these mixologists aren’t afraid to knock back a few shots, a cheap beer, or even a plain old glass of Jameson in good company. Just hold the Jaeger.
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