I’m a predictable order at the bar—give me some decent bourbon, served neat, accompanied by a light pilsner or lager. I’ve rarely strayed from this combo for a very long time. Well, five years ago the bourbon may have been Wild Turkey.
During daylight hours, you can set your watch by my caffeine habits. At 2 to 3 p.m., I’ll get an Americano with two shots of espresso. For seven or eight months out of the year, I’ll order it iced. One sugar, a splash of cream. Now you know me.
I might be the most boring beverage consumer in all five boroughs, were it not for my job. Just in the last few months, I’ve been forced to break my rigid habits again and again. The results have been quite rewarding: an office taste test of tart, booze-infused grapefruit seltzer; a romantic afternoon pu-erh tea ceremony in Williamsburg; even last night, a madly refreshing basil and vodka cocktail with a vivid pesto hue. The list goes on and on.
All this to say: My beverage options are vast, yet I rarely leave my comfort zone unless forced. Don’t be like me! We live in a city with such dazzling ways to drink, it’s almost criminal to be boring. In this issue, we celebrate the vodka bars of Brighton Beach, the Swedish coffee ritual fika, honey cocktails at the Waldorf Astoria, Indonesian coffee in the Village, foraged vermouth, and a lovely, fungus-inspired wine course at Eleven Madison Park.
We also feature options for the booze-averse—a lively “sober lounge” in Bed-Stuy, with virgin cocktails, coffee and nightlife. There’s a couple of historical pieces, about vintage bottles washed up on Dead Horse Bay and drinking at the 1939 World’s Fair. And we look at a new wine company attempting to foment social change, one bottle at a time.
All told, it’s a robust issue, covering a wide swath of our city’s impressive beverage scene. Drink up! And for God’s sake, try something new.