After the four hour ride to NYC and a cheese shopping adventure, we were thirsty for some good cocktails. So, my very good friends and fellow cocktail enthusiasts Brian and Jeff took my sister Allie and I to the fabulous Pegu Club to begin our Thanksgiving festivities. I was impressed by more than just the amazing drinks.

 

Round 1 at Pegu Club

The dark, moody (but not creepy), Asian-influenced atmosphere is inspired by the 19th century British Colonial Officers club in Burma of the same name.  And the bar snacks are really good.  The highlight was chicken lollipops, which totally deserve their name as they are covered in a sweet scotch-syrup that made me wish I had a spoon in my purse to get every last drop off the plate.

 

The Kill-Devil-- Look at the beautiful, rich carmel color

For my first drink, I ordered the Kill-Devil. How could I resist a cocktail with that name? I was also enticed by the combination of rum and Chartreuse. The waitress warned me that it was a “serious” drink—who do you think you’re talking to? She was right that it was a serious cocktail, but I am no amateur, I could handle it and really enjoyed the complex, potent flavor.

The Kill-Devil features Rum Agricole, green Chartreuse, demerara simple syrup and Angostura bitters. The drink gets its name from rum’s early nickname. In the 17th century, rum production was just beginning as sugar producers in Barbados realized they could make a very potent drink from the by-product of the sugar-making process. This new drink, what we now call rum, caused a nasty hangover and was affectionately called “kill-devil.” My Kill-Devil didn’t cause a hangover.  Instead it offered an interesting combination of sweet and herbal flavors. The dark rich color hinted at the carmel fragrance. The drink began with a sweet start—the rum is matched nicely with the demerara syrup—and is quickly followed by the herballyness of the Chartreuse and bitters.  Really good.

 

Brandy Crusta and the amazing lemon peel

For my second cocktail, I ordered a Brandy Crusta. I am working my way through a list of 100 Cocktails to Drink Before You Die (from a bar in Houston; more on the list later) and this is one on the list that I have yet to try. Invented in the early 19th century by a New Orleans bartender, the recipe was first published in 1862 in Jerry Thomas’ Bar-Tenders Guide. Featuring cognac, Cointreau, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and Peychaud’s bitters, this is a very drinkable cocktail. All of the flavors meld together and are complimented by the crust of sugar on the rim of the glass, which gives the drink its name. Nothing overly complex, but really tasty. The most impressive part of this drink was the full lemon peel garnish that filled the glass—imagine the Guggenheim as a lemon peel!

Another great night of cocktails in New York. Salute!

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