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After a day of post-Thankgiving art viewing and shopping, Brian, Jeff and I escaped the hubbub of Manhattan and ventured out to Long Island City in Queens to Dutch Kills.  The minute I walked in the door, I knew this was my kind of place.


Even the menu has an old timey look and feel


The spacious bar has deep, dark wooden booths, with a menu attached to the wall reminding me of those individual juke boxes in your booth at family friendly restaurants of a couple decades ago.  We went in past the booths to discover the fabulous little bar complete with vintage phone and cash register—I definitely felt like I was in another time, in a good way.  It was nostalgic without being specific, although supposedly 1890s saloon is what I should be thinking.

Before we get to the drinks, let me answer the name question—what does Dutch Kills mean?  The bar takes its name from the neighborhood in which it resides.  The native inhabitants called it Canapaukah (“bear’s watering hole”) after the Newton Creek, a distinguishing feature of the area.  Dutch settlers arrived in the early 1640s; their word for creek, was, you guessed it, kill. The area would become known as Dutch Kills–the perfect place for a fabulous watering hole.

We enjoyed quite a few menu options, and our bartender, Matt, also graciously and skillfully indulged our requests to go off menu.  He even convinced me that it was time to cross the Stinger off my list of 100 must drink cocktails.  I fully admit I was a bit hesitant—cognac and crème de menthe, can you blame me?  But Matt was right, it’s a nice combination of warm and cool.  Something great to sip during the holidays.


The Stinger

The creation of bartending masterminds Richard Boccato and Sasha Petraske, this place’s drink menu and bartenders’ attention to quality and detail, and their ability to execute delicious cocktails is outstanding.  Here’s one of the many deliciously unique creations Matt stirred for us.

Spruce Goose

1 ¾ oz gin

1 oz Cocchi Americano

¼ oz apricot liquer

couple dashes Dandelion & Burdock bitters (by Adam Elmegirab, Scotland)

If I lived in NYC, I think I would quickly be on a first name basis at this place. Cheers!


Welcome to Nightcapped! I look forward to sharing my stories about all things cocktail.

My first  post has to be about the JDP–How many people can say they have a cocktail named after them? The honor was bestowed on me by Sam Treadway at Drink. For months, I have been enjoying this fabulous drink known only as the “no name” until the JDP was born…

Enjoying the first official JDP with Sam

It all started when I asked Sam what he could do with Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, my summer obsession. I am totally in love with this bittersweet liqueur. Forget what you think you know about maraschino cherry flavor from those neon red cherries of childhood. This stuff has been made from the Marasca sour cherries since the 16th century. First produced by religious orders in Zara– this is present day Croatian, but back in the day it was closely aligned with the Republic of Venice, hence its present Italian connection. Since 1821 the Luxardo family has been creating this delicious product that features the sourness of the cherries, but also suggestion of almond from the crushed pits.  It is just absolutely delicious!

My request was met with a cocktail that featured not only Luxardo Maraschino, and so much more. The tart cherry flavor and the sweet apricot is tempered by the lime juice and bitters. Totally yum! I guess ordering the “no name” for months paid off, I now have a cocktail named after me.  Next time you are in Drink, order a JDP. Or make one for yourself at home (I’ve included the recipe).  You won’t be sorry. Salute!


1 oz gin (Junipero or Bombay Sapphire)
3/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz apricot liqueur
2 dashes angostura bitters

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