Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Monkey Bar Part 1

Our last stop of the evening was the classic post-Prohibition Jazz Age club known as The Monkey Bar. We popped in there to see my good friend and bartender Michael Harper but alas he was feeling under the weather and wasn't in. But that didn't stop us from enjoying a few cocktails in this New York City landmark.

Established in 1936 and occupying space in the lobby of The Hotel Elysée, the Monkey Bar became a favored place by many of the celebrities, politicians and businessmen of the era. To see a veritable who's who of those who walked through the doors of the Monkey Bar, look no further to Edward Sorel's Mural that adorns the back wall of the Monkey Bar's dining room. Hover over the people in the mural for a detailed description of who they were.

Sloe and Low
The ambiance was very cozy, intimate and dark. The light fixtures and the wallpaper were made up of Monkeys engaging in different activities. Our server Melissa (who for the record was awesome) recommended that I try a cocktail created for the menu by my friend Michael Harper called The Perfect 10. Momma-San chose to try The Sloe and Low cocktail.
The Sloe and Low
Dry Gin
Sloe Gin
Lemon Juice
Maraschino Liqueur

Muddled Raspberry and Blackberry
Surprise!!! Momma-San actually liked a cocktail. =) I kid, I kid. I took a quick taste of the Sloe and Low and it was quite delicious. The raspberry flavor really stood out to me more than any other. I normally find that blackberries lack in the flavor that raspberries do. Here was no difference. The blackberries added body along with the muddled raspberries. No matter, the cocktail was very refreshing.
The Perfect 10
Tanqueray No. 10 Dry Gin
Bianco Vermouth
Cocchi Americano
Boker's Bitters
Grapefruit Oil
The grapefruit immediately jumps out to the nose. The bitters is first on the tongue with the dryness of the Vermouth followed closely by the Cocchi Americano. Now I don't think that I have mentioned Cocchi Americano on this blog. For those of you who don't know, according to Paul Clarke in his blogpost What's the Deal with Cocchi Aperitivo Americano?: Cocchi Americano is:
Cocchi Aperitivo Americano is an Italian aperitif wine that debuted in 1891. Based on a foundation of Moscato di Asti, the wine is fortified and then flavored with cinchona bark, along with citrus peel, spices and other botanicals. Cinchona bark is the original source of quinine, and this substance gives Cocchi a bitter bite and places the wine in the category of chinati...Cocchi Americano is crisp and citrusy with a delicate bitter edge.
The Tanqueray No. 10 Dry Gin just sits in the background letting the other flavors jostle for flavor positioning while the drinker just enjoys a full flavored cocktail. Speaking of Tanqueray No. 10, what makes it a different gin from let's say the original Tanqueray. According to the Tanqueray No. 10 webpage:
While the other gins subtly infuse only peel, we go all in and give the fruit a little more love. Small batches. Fresh fruit. Not just peels. The freshest grapefruit, oranges, limes and chamomile sets our gin apart and gives it flavour
Thanks to Michael Harper for coming up with such an interesting cocktail and thanks to Melissa for recommending it.

Next to come is the second cocktail I had at the Monkey Bar called a Pimms Rangoon.

Until Then, Happy Drinking
Sisco Vanilla