Being what I call a “seasoned drinker,” I enjoy when bars and restaurants offer up seasonal cocktails that aren’t your typical fair. Yes, I know a Mojito tastes minty delicious during a sticky summer day and a Hot Toddy serves to warm my innards during NYC’s harshest winter nights—but it’s all so expected. In steps Blue Owl, a hip little underground (literally) bar on Second Avenue (between 12th and 13th Streets), which has captured the taste buds of CityGuide for “Best Cocktails” two years in a row and boasts a serious list of champion cocktails. Blue Owl believes in switching its tastes with the seasons, and I attended the launch of its Spring 2009 Cocktail list served up by mixologist Charles Hardwick.
I balked at the fact that a fair amount of the drink list contained gin; I’m simply not a gin drinker, which I divulged at least twice to the cocktail server. But after downing the signature Blue Owl, a deliciously sweet variation on the classic “Aviation” (and ripe with gin) I was sold.
The signature Blue Owl, of course, wasn’t a new spring offering, so I committed myself to plowing through at least three of the new additions, and I’m glad I did. Hardwick is masterful at layering flavors; many drinks left unexpected aftertastes. What I enjoyed most: The new items for spring presented refreshingly light, yet packed some potency—just what a seasoned drinker desires. And, I should note: Though I drank four cocktails in the course of an hour and a half, I had zero hangover the next morning. Praise Blue Owl!
The ones to drink up (recipes below): The Marpessa, made in honor of Marpessa Dawn, the actress and co-star of the 1960’s Brazilian film Black Orpheus, and The Rube, a tribute to Andrew Rube Foster, former Red Sox pitcher and founder of the Negro National League in 1920.
1 oz Cabana Cachaca
.75 oz Orchard Pear liqueur
.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Aloe Vera Extract
Combine with ice in cocktail shaker; shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with thinly sliced lime wheel.
1.25 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
.75 oz Lillet Rouge
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup
Splash of Soda
.5 oz Fresh Orange Juice
Combine with ice in cocktail shaker; shake and serve in a tall glass. Garnish with an orange wheel.
—Karie L. FrostSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40