Cartoon Cocktails: Florodora

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The book quoted here is Imbibe, by David Wondrich, who helped me track down the original article for this story! The book just came out in a new edition. Buy a copy here:

The drink also inspired this amazing poem, published in the New York Evening World on July 3, 1901:

Oh, siren of the summer drinks!
A pale rose in the shattered ice
Glows like the cheek of that sweet minx
Who names this drink of paradise.

Of raspberries their syrup soul
From tender fruit most tender nursed
And fragrant lime that reach the goal
And make a blessing of a thirst.

Oh, don’t forget the Plymouth gin
That makes of water merry jest-
Its pale and weak and soulless twin
That never stirred my lady’s breast.

And ice! Oh cool refreshing mass!
Oh grateful music to the ear!
Crushed, shattered powdered in the glass,
A grateful frozen poem there.

Then ale of ginger on the top-
Instinct with life and knows its biz-
That leaps out with a regal pop
As though it were the real old fizz.

Lo, crimson Venus that we hath!
The heartless cherry, sweetly nice
Fresh from a Maraschino bath
To rest upon a couch of ice.

A slice of orange, disc of gold.
The crowning glory of the float;
The drinks complete and smoking cold
And ready for the arid throat

To you, sweet “Florodora” maid,
Who caused this summer’s blessing make,
I drink the tipple in the shade
And bless you for it, Susie Drake.

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Butter & Scotch

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Butter and Scotch. 818 Franklin Ave. between Eastern Parkway and Union Street in Crown Heights. C train or Shuttle to Franklin Ave. (347) 350–8899. www.butterandscotch.com. Open Mon–Thu, 5 pm–midnight; Fri, 5 pm–2 am; Sat, 10 am–2 am; Sun, 10 am–midnight.

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Still Life with Hot Toddy Potential

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It’s still hot toddy weather in New York! This print will debut next week at the MoCCA Art Festival in Manhattan! It’ll be for sale here soon!

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Supporting Bar Scrawl

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Hi folks! As the comic says, I’m asking for a little help! If you want to support Bar Scrawl, you can do so by clicking through to my Patreon page! It’s like a voluntary subscription service: the comic is always going to be free, but if you sign up for a small monthly donation, you can help it going! Anyone who signs up for $6 a month or more (the cost of a pint of beer!) also gets behind-the-scenes extras – unused sketches, process drawings, and things that I couldn’t fit into the strip.

If you can’t afford it, don’t worry! But if you know someone who might like Bar Scrawl as much as you do, please let them know about it!

More details over here at www.patreon.com/barscrawl. Check it out! Thanks!

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Livingston Manor

Livingston Manor is the latest sign of changes happening in Downtown Brooklyn. It serves craft beer and cocktails like the Rhyme Thyme, with apricot-infused rye whiskey, lemon, and thyme. The former bodega is now an on-trend spot with exposed brick and reclaimed wood panels. On Friday night it was packed with well-heeled customers. A Ketel-One and tonic! Sorry - Grey Goose okay? Plus a couple in the bathroom. Do I want to know what they were doing in there? My guess is: cocaine.

Livingston Manor. 42 Hoyt St., between Livingston and Schermerhorn streets in Downtown Brooklyn. A/C/G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn, or 2/3 to Hoyt. (347) 987-3292. www.livingstonmanorbk.com. Open Sun–Thu, 3 pm–2:30 am; Fri, Sat, 3 pm–4 am.

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Manhattan Inn

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Manhattan Inn. 632 Manhattan Ave., between Nassau and Norman aves. G train to Nassau. (718) 383-0885. www.themanhattaninn.com. Open Mon–Thu, 5 pm–2:30 am; Fri, 5 pm–4 am; Sat, 11 am–4 am; Sun, 11 am–2:30 am.

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Arrogant Swine

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Arrogant Swine. 173 Morgan Ave. at Scholes Street in Bushwick. L train to Morgan Ave. (718) 791–3842. www.arrogantswine.com. Open Tue–Thu, 4 pm–2 am; Fri, 4 pm–4 am; Sat, 11 am–4 am; Sun, 11 am–2 am; Mon, closed.
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Tasting Amaro di Angostura

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So last week I was invited to the Clover Club, one of New York’s greatest bars, for a tasting of a new liqueur from Angostura: Amaro di Angostura.

Yes, Angostura, the people who make bitters.

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They’ve also been making rum for more than 100 years, but people seem to only know them for the bitters. Now they’ve come out with an amaro – a bitter liqueur, which I’m betting people will actually be able to remember.

As I arrived, Angostura’s global ambassador was speaking a bit about the new beverage:

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And he was offering a toast, so I hurried to the bar and ordered a “Road to Manhattan” – one of several drinks created for the night:

 

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Road to Manhattan

  • 1 oz Angostura 1824 (rum)
  • 1 oz Amaro di Angostura
  • .5 oz Ginger Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Stir with ice and strain over a giant ice cube.

 

 

 

So I fought my way up to the front, where David was handing out samples of Amaro di Angostura in simple glasses:

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I have not had time to clean up this image. Also, I never got a decent drawing of the liquor itself, so here’s a publicity still.

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Verdict: It’s pretty good!  It’s based on their classic aromatic bitters, and if you’ve tasted various bitters side-by-side, you’ll know that Angostura is relatively sweet compared to some of its competitors.

Amaro di Angostura is similar – it has a caramel flavor, with cinnamon notes and a hint of citrus, but it’s all balanced by a bitter base from the gentian root, and some faint licorice flavors.

You can drink this amaro by itself on the rocks (it’s a little syrup-y when it’s warm), but the bartenders that night definitely made a case for including it in mixed drinks.

For instance the next drink I tried was the simple Amora Amaro:

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Amora Amaro:

  • 1.5 oz Amaro di Angostura
  • .75 oz Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz Lime Juice

Shake and strain into a coupe glass.

It’s a simple drink, but it totally works –  sweet, sour, and bitter all together.

A few more drinks, and both my ability to draw and my memory went mysteriously downhill.

I do remember getting this young man to make me a “Maracas Bay Swizzle”:

Angostura32The Swizzle is a delightful drink involving rum, Amaro di Angostura, lime juice, pineapple juice, and raspberry syrup.  I neglected to get the recipe or a sketch (again, mysterious reasons!), but here’s a photo of that beverage:

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And then it was definitely time to take off. I’m calling that a successful product launch, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with the sample size bottle I made off with.

I will note that because the amaro is sweet as well as bitter, you can’t just substitute Amaro di Angostura for another digestif. I tried making a standard Negroni with Angostura instead of Campari, it was far too sweet. But then I discovered the recipe for the Amaroni in the back of the little recipe book they gave out  (1.5 oz. Amaro di Angostura, 1 oz. of gin, .5 oz sweet vermouth, 2 dashes orange bitters) and it came out really smooth.

If you want to try it yourself, it should be in liquor stores now. It’s definitely at Astor Place for $26.99/bottle.

And the Maracas Bay Swizzle is currently on Clover Club’s Happy Hour Menu, so you can try it out for just $7 if you get there before 7pm. You should definitely go!

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Midwood Flats

barscrawl-midwoodMidwood Flats. 577 Flatbush Ave. at Midwood Street in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, (718) 484–4466. www.midwo‌odfla‌ts.com. Open Sun–Thu, 5 pm–2 am; Fri, Sat, 5 pm–4 am.

 
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Billet and Bellows

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Billet and Bellows. 177 Grand St. between Bedford and Driggs avenues in Williamsburg. (347) 294–4642. www.bille‌tandb‌ellow‌s.com. Open Sun–Wed, 4 pm–2 am; Thu–Sat, 4 pm–2 am.

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