Beyoncé said it best (because doesn’t she always?) when she told us point blank who run the world. This month we’re thinking it couldn’t be any truer when it comes to the world of cocktails here in NYC, where the ladies have been hard at work behind the bar and the bottle — and the fruits of their labor show more than ever. As such, we’ve teamed up with Ladies of American Distilleries (LOAD) for The LOADed Cocktail Passport, your ticket to tipples at some of the city’s best drinking dens where big deal females are playing some big deal roles. Grab yours through May 10 and drink any of the following BK-based drams in good conscience: a portion of the proceeds will go directly to Bottomless Closet and the Brooklyn Public Library.
LAIRD’S BRANDY & VAN BRUNT STILLHOUSE MOONSHINE at LAVENDER LAKE
Between a backyard built for hangouts, strong array of classic drams, and New American fare, this Gowanus bar has everything you need and more in a post-work, post-brunch bar. Add to that list a solid selection of local beer and spirits, and you’re looking at one more reason to check it out on the regular. Now that Passport season is in full swing, that local love takes the form of moonshine from Red Hook’s very own Van Brunt Stillhouse — a community favorite.
THE EL DIABLO at DONNA
The well-heeled congregate at this Williamsburg bar on the daily for DJ-spun tunes, gussied up tacos, and contemporary craft cocktails from bartender Jeremy Oertel. Flash your Passport this month for one of those drams, in particular: the El Diabo, a shaken concoction of tequila, crème de cassis, lime, and ginger beer that is served on the rocks and topped off with a ginger candy.
THE OWNEY’S DAIQUIRI at MONTANA’S TRAIL HOUSE
The team at this Bushwick bar are participating in the Passport with a nod to one local distiller, specifically: Bridget Firtle of The Noble Experiment and Owney’s Rum. “She is one of the most amazing human beings ever — not to mention the rum is one of my favorite American rums currently made,” says bar manager Austin Hartman. Check it out on its own or in daiquiri form.
THE BIG QUEEN at LITTLE KING
Creative riffs on the classics is what the team at this Williamsburg bar do best, as showcased with showstoppers like the John Henry (a Sombra Mezcal old fashioned) and the Irish Negroni (with Powers Irish Whiskey, Campari, and Amaro Ciociaro). Right now it’s all about the Big Queen, a stirred fixing of Redemption Bourbon, Laird's Apple Brandy, Carpano Antica, Batavia Arrack, and cinnamon syrup that’s served on the rocks with a flamed orange round.
THE BLACK DIRT OLD FASHIONED at THE MAYFLOWER
Fort Greene denizens flock to this cozy neighborhood bar for wine, beer, and seasonal cocktails from bartender Chockie Tom. So seasonal, in fact, that she’s sure to get it just right: Inspired to create a classic that would honor the end of winter and the advent of spring, Tom melded together allspice dram, Regan’s Orange Bitters, and Old Dirt Bourbon — a personal favorite of hers — for their Passport offering, the Black Dirt Old Fashioned.
By Nicole Schnitzler
(Photos from left: Big Queen at Little King by Sam Esterman; Little King Interior by Jane Beiles; Black Dirt Old Fashioned at The Mayflower)