The Northeast (and much of the country) is in the midst of a NEVER-ENDING POLAR VORTEX OF BULLSHIT. It’s cold. Like, angry-making cold. The kind of bone chilling cold that just hurts your goddamned feelings. My extra thick, full body down comforter coat doesn’t help my self esteem. But it does help to keep out some of the pain. So does whiskey. I had decided around the holidays to go dry for January. But this soul crushing cold has had me rethinking giving up booze for the LONGEST MONTH OF THE YEAR.
I’m not gonna lie, last week, as temps dipped into the teens and single digits, I spent many a night gazing at my fully stocked bar, fixed, especially on the amber colored whiskeys. ‘Just a nip?’, I asked myself. ‘It’s 12 degrees outside!’, I’d rationalize. ‘I’m eating an enchilada!’, I’d reason. ‘Soooo thirsty!’, my inner lush whined. But, I abstained…a little longer. Until I reached that three week mark and figured, ‘fuck it, good enough!’ I had two birthday dinners and a second date that I really didn’t feel like teetotaling through. I decided that I’d make up those last eight days sometime in February. That’s a better month for a detox anyway. It’s shorter.
When I voluntarily fell off the wagon, it was into the arms of a dark, strong whiskey cocktail that I landed. And…it was ok. It wasn’t as magical as I wanted it to be. It wasn’t rainbows and unicorns in a glass, like I imagined. I mean, I managed to get it down, ok? It was drinkable. It’s just, in retrospect, I should have come out of the super sober, pink-livered gate directly to a cocktail like Dr. Dave’s ‘Scrip Pad. Now THAT is a cocktail that will sweep you off your feet. A perfect winter tipple, designed to warm your spirits, sooth your soul and make you thankful for being inside with a stiff drink in hand. I’m not saying you’ll totally embrace this eternal arctic chill that has taken over the world or anything, but this drink will help you to dislike it a little less.
Alder, celebrity/mad scientist chef Wylie Dufresne’s nearly year old restaurant in the East Village, seems to have a pretty solid cocktail program managed by Kevin Denton. But I wouldn’t really know since I didn’t try anything else. I only had eyes for my latest crush, a mix of Old Overholt rye, Ramazzotti Amaro, yuzu juice, and smoked maple syrup. Bam! Winter, you haven’t beaten me yet. In your face, Polar Vortex!