Wednesday officially marked the first day of winter, and we here at Boozemenus might just believe that it really is the most wonderful time of the year — sure, for the holidays — but also for the 2017 NYC Good Whiskey Passport, a $37 pass that will score you a whiskey drink at more than 20 bars around town from now through February 13. This time, several bars are upping the ante with $5 bite upgrades, providing dishes that pair up perfectly with their specialty Passport drink — while also ensuring you don’t leave hungry. Check out these four now.
BOURBON GINGER PECAN PIE with the TEELING TODDY at BUTTER & SCOTCH
If you consider yourself as much of a sugar enthusiast as you do a spirits one, you’re in good hands at this Crown Heights bar-meets-bakery, which just so happens to specialize in both. As such, expect decadent food pairings on the regular, from s’mores to salted chocolate chip cookies. Flash your pass to try their Teeling Toddy cocktail alongside their bourbon ginger pecan pie, complete with organic Texan pecans, maple syrup, a hefty shot of bourbon, and fresh, dried, and candied ginger.
CHEDDAR AND APPLE MUSTARD PRETZEL with the HARLEM NIGHTS at SONS & DAUGHTERS
This Chelsea-Meatpacking bar takes its cocktail menu seriously, as evidenced by the dream team that helped create it (Tim Cooper of Goldbar, Eryn Reece of Death & Co. and Leo Degroff of Prince Cocktail). The city inspires the menu through and through, right down to the Harlem Nights — a dram comprised of Great King Street Blended Scotch, Cynar, St. George Bruto Americano, grapefruit, honey, and lime. The food pairing, a NYC-style soft serve pretzel gussied up with cheddar and apple mustard, is just as Big Apple-worthy.
DEVILED EGGS with the GOLD RUSH at HANDCRAFT KITCHEN & COCKTAILS
The team at this Kip’s Bay bar aren’t taking any shortcuts with their Passport offering — a shaken and strained old fashioned riff of rye whiskey (think WhistlePig or Hudson Manhattan), lemon juice, and honey syrup. As for the pairing? “Imagine a buffalo chicken wing — but stuffed into a deviled egg,” notes bar man Alex Mouzakitis. After we heard their prep method — pickled in beet juice, mixed with celery, blue cheese, carrots, and pulled chicken, and served with hot sauce — we agree — these are a far cry from your grandma’s deviled eggs.
BACON-WRAPPED PRETZEL with VARIOUS WHISKEY POURS at THE SAINT CATHERINE
It’s all about keeping it simple at this Prospect Heights hangout, where a team is serving up pours — neat or rocks — of either Pearse Lyons Reserve or selections from Leopold Brothers, a small batch distillery based in Denver. The night gets better with the bar’s pairing: colossal sized pretzels, which come out hot, bacon-wrapped, and with a zingy side of mustard for dipping.
By Nicole Schnitzler
(Photos from left: Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie at Butter & Scotch by Paul Wagtouicz; Cocktail at The Shanty by @sonyinthecity; Chedder & Apple Mustard Pretzel at Sons & Daughters)