Asking for a drink at a bar has always been a pretty stressful event in my life. I become paralyzed and, for the most part, choose a drink – not because I want it – but because I remember the name. Since, in my mind, my only options are Cosmopolitan and beer…I end up spending $15 on a fruity, jolly rancher cosmo that I have never, ever enjoyed.
That is until I discovered my love for whiskey and bourbon. I started slow…since I am not a 90 year old man, I felt more comfortable asking for a “whiskey ginger” than whiskey – straight up, which is what I really wanted.
No more though. Whiskey neat it is. And that is why my new obsession is the NYC speakeasy. Last night I went to one of the more famous ones in NYC called Little Branch, which also happens to be around the block from my apartment. Trouble.
The funny thing is, I have passed this place hundreds of times over the years assuming it was some abandoned subway entrance. You can see from the photo above there is zero signage and it is not the most inviting door in the world…
Not unlike most speakeasy’s, you walk down a shady flight of stairs, through a narrow dark hallway leading into a time warp. Low lighting, cozy booths, bartenders and waitresses dressed in 1920’s fashion.
I told the bartender that I love straight whiskey and bourbon – nothing too flowery or sweet – and she brought me the Monte Carlo. Don’t ask me what is in it, I barely listened. All I can tell you is it did the trick and no one at my table was disappointed with the drink the bartender mixed up for them.
Not a bad neighborhood hang-out to have.