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. Open Sun–Thu, 3 pm–2:30 am; Fri, Sat, 3 pm–4 am.

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Manhattan Inn


Manhattan Inn. 632 Manhattan Ave., between Nassau and Norman aves. G train to Nassau. (718) 383-0885. 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

Arrogant Swine. 173 Morgan Ave. at Scholes Street in Bushwick. L train to Morgan Ave. (718) 791–3842. 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


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.


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:


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:







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:

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.


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:


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:

AA9Y0354 (1)

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.midwo‌odfla‌ Open Sun–Thu, 5 pm–2 am; Fri, Sat, 5 pm–4 am.

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Billet and Bellows


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

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Erv’s on Beekman


Erv’s on Beekman. 2122 Beekman Pl. at Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. B/Q or Shuttle train to Prospect Park. (718) 662-8813. Open daily, 6 pm–1 am.

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Still Life with Potential Sidecar


The sidecar is one of my favorite drinks, so I’ve made it the second print in my ongoing “still life” series (check out the Pre-Manhattan over here). Also, I’ve discovered that liquor bottles are really complicated once you start looking at them!

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Berg’n. 899 Bergen St. between Classon and Franklin avenues in Crown Heights. S shuttle to Park Place. (718) 857–2337. Open Tue–Thu, 11 am–1 am; Fri, Sat, 11 am–2 am; Sun, 11 am–1 am; Mon, closed.

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Miles. 101 Wilson Ave. between Troutman and Starr streets in Bushwick. L train to Jefferson. (718) 483–9172. www.miles‌onwil‌ Open Mon–Fri, 6 pm–2 am; Sat, Sun noon–2 am.

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