for the bon vivant

In doing research for the Pianocktail, I was looking for classic cocktail concoctions – bartending manuals, books of the old Savoy, inventive and iconoclastic cocktail recipes to build off to create the cocktail-making piano. I wanted the Pianocktail to work like a mixologist, imagining new drinks with each stroke of the key and not just serving them… I suppose it was a great time (as ever) to create a cocktail-making piano since we now see the “resurgence of the cocktail”. So I wanted to share some of the drinks I found and some interesting places I visited (I’ve amassed quite a list – so I will spread it out over several posts!)

New York


East Side Company Bar 49 Essex St., nr. Grand St. 212-614-7408 A speakeasy-style bar co-owned by Milk & Honey founder Sasha Petraske. I had the Presbyterian, which was a variation on the Pisco Sour.


PDT 113 St. Marks Pl. , nr. First Ave. 212-614-0386 Please Don't Tell is also a speakeasy-style bar that only seats 35 people. To enter you go through the telephone booth inside the hot dog stand Criff Dogs.


Once inside PDT you can have cocktails as well as order hot dogs from next door. I had the Velvet Rope.


Death and Co. 433 E. 6th St., nr. Ave. A 212-388-0882


They had a cocktail with Absinthe and Laphroig Scotch, and interesting names like Sunset at Gawanus.


Chinatown Brasserie 380 Lafayette St 212-533-7000.



A large, opulent Chinese restaurant. I tried a Mai Tai.


Freemans Restaurant - End of Freeman Alley, nr. Rivington St. 212-420-0012


Tucked away in an alley, Freemans's serves rustic American comfort food and interesting cocktails.


Schillers 131 Rivington St 212-260-4555


Schiller's has fresh ingredients and a beautiful brasserie atmosphere. I tried their Happy Hour drinks.


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