With only two years behind the stick, Colin Bryson is impressive.
Partially because he splits his time tending bar among three popular locales: Dutch Kills on Thursdays and Saturdays; Sweetleaf Cocktail Bar on Wednesdays and Fridays; and GoldBar on Tuesdays.
But, really, because the 25-year-old barkeep is noticeably skilled and knowledgeable for his age.
Bryson seems to love learning and is ever honing his craft, all in effort to make this cocktail even more amazing than the last, while not becoming overly serious about it. (Bryson admits his growing suspender and tie collection might be the best aspect of his career, and women who order Negronis can make his heart flutter.)
In between his three jobs, Bryson made time for our questions at The Daily Meal.
The Daily Meal: So, what turned you onto bartending?
Colin Bryson: I suppose I’ve always had an affinity for drink making. But, my first drink at Dutch Kills changed my entire perspective on the trade. Before, drinking was associated with lurid debauchery. Dutch Kills opened my eyes to a style of drinking that I could be proud to advocate, one that was defined by cordiality and quality craftsmanship.
TDM: Wow. That must have been some cocktail. Do you remember it?
CB: My first cocktail at Dutch Kills was an Old Fashioned, I think, but the cocktail I remember going bananas over was The Chocolate Cocktail. It's a classic — tawny port, Yellow Chartreuse, sugar, egg yolk, grated nutmeg, shaken and served up.
TDM: What sort of input do you have in the beverage program there?
CB: It’s really a team effort. What people understand the Dutch Kills "menu" to be is a combination of whatever seasonal libations Richie has chosen to highlight in written format and whatever we choose to highlight for our bartender’s choice requests. We all have original cocktails that are served, and we all have our favorites for the bartender’s choice scenario.
TDM: How do you feel about the term "mixologist"? Do you consider yourself one?
CB: At this point, I think that griping about or refusing this title is just as pretentious as demanding it. So, how about we say this, I’m going to keep making drinks so long as people are ordering them, and folks can give it whatever name they fancy.
TDM: Which of the Dutch Kills cocktails are your favorites? What are guest favorites?
CB: If we are talking about the current menu, mine would be the Dr. Funk, a Donn Beach cocktail from the 1940s [fresh lime juice, house-made grenadine, Gosling's Black Seal Bermuda rum, absinthe rinse]. Surprisingly, our guests’ favorite seems to be the Satan Cocktail, which is an incredibly boozy Manhattan variation with Peychaud's bitters, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, bourbon, absinthe rinse. I guess it goes to show that the palates of the average drinker are really becoming more sophisticated.
TDM: How does the Dutch Kills beverage program stand out from other New York City spots?
CB: A multitude of things, but ice is the most relevant. Dutch Kills is one of three bars in the world that has a Clinebell machine in house. So, what that means for people that don’t know is that all of the ice that is used in our drink making process — with the exception of crushed ice — is frozen at the bar in 300-pound clear blocks and cut by hand for service. Our paramount goal is to control water content in a cocktail as specifically as we control our jiggers. This produces a cocktail that is as cold as possible and vibrantly full of flavor.
TDM: What are your favorite watering holes and why?
CB: The newly opened Attaboy and The Beagle. Attaboy, [because of the] presence behind the bar. It’s a clinic. The Beagle, [because its] sherry selection is outstanding. Great hospitality behind the bar, as well.
TDM: What are a few of your favorite cocktails to make? And why?
CB: Pineapple Daiquiris [fresh lime juice, fresh pineapple juice, white sugar, white rum] — my co-workers love to drink them. Old Fashioned [Angostura bitters, white sugar, bourbon, garnished with a lemon and orange peel] — I take a lot of pride in this drink. I think it’s one of the few drinks that requires a bit of finesse. You can’t measure the size of your sugar cubes, and dashers (for bitters) are inconsistent, as well. It requires a degree of eyeballing that you need to pay attention to and understand. Mai Tai [fresh lime juice, house-made orgeat, curaçao, Jamaican rum, a float of dark rum, garnished with mint, a lime wheel and a dusting of powdered sugar] — I just think people forget how good this drink tastes. It tastes really good.
TDM: What spirit is sexiest to you? Why?
CB: Campari. Every time a girl orders a Negroni, I fall in love a little bit.
TDM: For you, which spirit is the most versatile?
CB: Aged rum.
TDM: What’s your favorite classic cocktail?
CB: The "Harvard." It is simply a cognac Manhattan; however, I like mine served on a rock, in which case it is called a "Flushing."
TDM: When brainstorming a new recipe, what’s one aspect you’re particularly striving for?
CB: I want it to be unique. When somebody gives me very specific bartender’s choice guidelines and I am stumped on what to give them, I make a little note in my head to work on a cocktail that fits that criteria. However, some people make the mistake of thinking unique cocktails have to be complicated, and that is not true. Simple cocktails can be unique, as well. It just takes a little more work.
TDM: What are your favorite herbs, bitters, etc., to use in your libations?
CB: A wise man once told me, "If your cocktail doesn’t taste good, just put Peychaud’s bitters in it."
TDM: You also work at a couple other bars, Sweetleaf and GoldBar. What's it like to work at three different bars?
CB: Working at three bars is great. It breaks up the monotony. I'm almost always excited to go to work because it always feels like I haven't been there in a while. There is so much to learn from working with different people, as well. Everyone has their own style, and I like taking bits and pieces of everyone's game and using them to elevate the level of hospitality I can give.
TDM: For guests, what makes Dutch Kills worth the trek to Long Island City?
CB: The diversity of the crowd. Dutch Kills is a bar where anybody can have a good drink for a good price and feel at home. With most bars in New York, you can anticipate to a certain degree what kind of folk you’re going to run into, depending on the spot. But the crowd at Dutch Kills is completely unpredictable: On any given night, there might be a gentleman in his 70s, wearing a bowler hat, drinking a Manhattan at one end of the bar, and at the other end, a girl in her early 20s that doesn’t know what a Manhattan is. That is not an exaggeration. That happens. A lot.
TDM: What’s the best perk of your role?
CB: My suspender and tie collection is starting to look real good.
The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson is known for his many lovable personalities — "Hollywood's wildest wild child, a raw-foodist and eco-crusader and Iraq-war protester and marijuana-legalization champion," as Esquire put it. The Academy Award nominated actor can play goofy, macho, and frightening all in the same scene. His big break came when we joined the cast of Cheers, which GQ called "what might just be the greatest sitcom of all time" and one of "the most perfect TV shows ever." Harrelson went on to win an Emmy for this supporting role and became a regular in the entertainment industry. As of 2020, he has over 100 acting credits, via IMDb.
After a relocation to Hawaii, the Zombieland star became close buddies with his neighbor and fellow mellow lover, Willie Nelson. But Harrelson's life was never just sunsets and pina coladas. In fact, he could probably use . a few cheers, because this is the tragic real-life story of Woody Harrelson.
Daiq Attack!: The Best Daiquiri Recipes from Top Mixologists
Daiquiris. We just celebrated National Daiquiri Day on Sunday, July 19th (did you?) We love them. So much so that my favorite cocktail term “Snaiquiri” (coined by Karin Stanley during a fit of sobriety- and nowhere near a Daiquiri, she promises – and meaning, to my understanding, the first of two daiquiris, drunk quickly, while the second is savored) is being used industry-wide.
From Bar La Florida in Havana to the craft cocktail bar near you, with a stop in between at Wet Willies in Miami, everyone is within reach of one of these delicious drinks. You might prefer the dry and acerbic Papa Doble, if you are a suicidal literary type, or a Crawgator from Fat Tuesdays if the French Quarter is all the New Orleans you want to see.
The daiquiri drink has morphed from a simple concoction of lime, sugar, and rum (we have Jennings Cox and his lack of gin – so the story goes – to thank, along with the island nation of Cuba) into the myriad versions we see on Daiquiri Factory menus, some without a drop of that good Cuban stuff.
Since this drink is beloved by all, from the dour and looming cocktail bartender, resplendent in vest and jigger tattoos, to the late teenage spring breaker decked out in bikini top, jorts, and flip flops, I thought I’d ask some of our favorite bartenders for their preferred recipes, with some room to play around.
The Best Daiquiri Recipes
We should, however, start with this classic, clean, and simple version I learned in the Sasha Petraske bar family: (Milk & Honey, Little Branch, Dutch Kills)
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice (squeezed to order is obviously best)
- .75 oz. 1:1 simple syrup (sugar:water)
- 2 oz. Plantation Three Star white rum
He likes using Plantation Three Star because of its banana and vanilla notes, coupled with that funky Jamaican backbone.
Chris Lowder over at The Nomad likes this split base version, called a Pineapple Express:
- 1 oz fresh pineapple juice
- .75 oz. fresh lime juice
- .75 oz .1:1 simple syrup
- 1 oz. Flor de Cana 4 year
- 1 oz. Rhum JM Gold
He says the Flor de Cana keeps it clean and light while the Rhum JM Gold and pineapple meld to create beautiful, under-ripe tropical fruit flavors…
The inimitable Tim Cooper from Bar D’Eau and Sweetwater Social (and the 86 Co., so he’s obligated to use his own rum and I am obligated to shill for it, because, let’s face it, all involved are bartender heroes and they’ve made some fine juice, and everyone knows that Tim is one of the best dudes in the business) makes a great Cuba Libre/Daiquiri hybrid called a Best of Both:
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- .75 oz cola syrup (let cola go flat, combine with equal part by volume of sugar)
- 2 oz Cana Brava rum (from the aforementioned 86 Co. which, as I said, Tim is a paid representative of, and I am not. Ahem. Totally open to going on junkets, distillery visits, or nice dinners though.)
- 1 dash angostura bitters
- garnish with a lime wheel
Tim likes using the Cana Brava because it is an authentic Carta Blanca style rum, which is what was used in the classic Daiquiri and Cuba Libre, as it lends its crisp elegance to this drink.
Last but not least, Danny Neff over at Holiday Cocktail Lounge, likes this incredibly simple version for its brightness and funk. He also enjoys the fact that one of the best new distilleries in the US is making it on his home turf, the west coast.
More Is More: The Evolution of Tiki Garnish
“More is more” has always been tiki’s mantra.
When other post-Prohibition cocktails were all about restraint, Don the Beachcomber—who also went by Donn Beach—shook upwards of ten ingredients into his signature Zombie. Where other bars were dark and quiet, his walls were covered in masks and shields and tropical plants. And while the Martinis down the street played coy with their olives and slim glasses, Donn’s “Rhum Rhapsodies” danced around in a hacked-open coconut, sprouting flowers and pineapple slices. These drinks didn’t just present you with the option of escape—they kidnapped you.
Since America first welcomed tiki with open arms in the 1930s and s, garnish—whether a paper umbrella, a bushel of mint or a flaming cinnamon stick—has been an essential element of the genre’s allure, offering benefits both practical (aroma, dilution) and theatrical (flames, whimsy). Today’s garnishes honor the traditions established by Donn, while winking at tiki’s darkest, tackiest days. Their primary goal is still entertain and impress the drinker, albeit with a few new tricks.
In the 1940s, Donn “made his bones on garnishes,” according to Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, tiki’s leading historian. “He had up to 14 bartenders on the line, some of them devoting themselves entirely to garnishes: Making ice shells, scooping out limes, [hacking] coconut shells, cutting pineapples, etc.” With America’s first tiki bar, he created a new aesthetic, of which garnish was a fundamental part.
In the 1950s and ‘60s, Donn’s imitators—Trader Vic, Kon Tiki’s Steven Crane, Joe Scialom—continued this tradition, adding their own bits of flare and flame along the way. As tiki gained the favor of Hollywood stars and Middle America alike, these men threw more and more money—and creative energy—into their restaurants. The result was a period of tiki décor that was decidedly baroque.
Ask any modern-day bartender with a penchant for rum about where their garnish inspiration comes from, and they’ll mention Donn and Vic without skipping a beat. But once they’ve paid their homage, all bets are off. Where tiki’s first bartenders improvised and invented within the boundaries of the tropics, today’s tikiphiles have a few decades of kitsch to inspire them—and something to prove, namely to those who still equate it with cloying blender drinks. Tiki isn’t dead, but it is desperate to show us all how bright and alive it is.
Naturally, garnishes kept up with this dramatization of aesthetic. Vic famously pioneered the “mystery bowl,” a punch meant for sharing, with a volcano of ice in its center topped with a flaming, spent lime shell. And in 1957 Scialom may or may not have been the first man to put a wooden backscratcher in a cocktail, unwittingly welcoming in the era of purely ornamental garnishes.
Harry Yee, a bartender at the Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, put that same backscratcher in a very similar drink at the same time. He had begun mixing tiki drinks upon requests from tourists who assumed tiki’s Polynesian roots were in earnest he had no ties to Don or Vic, and therefore had to either learn drinks by word of mouth or make them up himself. Most importantly, Yee went on to give tiki its most infamous garnish—the paper umbrella—and in doing so, he changed the face of tiki forever.
Shortly after tiki’s excesses “reached a fever pitch in the early to late ‘60s,” says Berry, the Summer of Love arrived, and brought with it a new kind of ideology, one more interested in weed and music and rebellion than tropical vacations. “The drug culture killed off the cocktail culture.”
The tiki bars that survived through the ‘70s and ‘80s were those that cut corners with bottled syrups and juices, maraschino cherries, mediocre “Polynesian” food and garnishes that required no labor. As tiki enthusiast Adam Kolesar explains it, “paper parasols became the Lord of the Garnish.” Pricey fresh flowers and laborious ice arrangements gave way to plastic monkeys and canned pineapple, tossed into syrupy slush classic cocktails met a similar fate, as sour mix and blue curacao appeared in bars across America. “Umbrella drink” became a pejorative term encompassing anything that was remotely tropical.
Finally, in the early 2000s, tiki regained the respect of the American cocktail scene. Kolesar remembers taking a class on Rum Punches taught by bartender and cocktail expert Dale DeGroff, who was one of the first to reunite tiki mugs with fresh juices, homemade syrups and an understanding of technique. With this renewed focus on quality—and respect for tradition—came fresh garnishes reminiscent of Donn’s originals and Vic’s embellishments. Gone were what Kolesar calls “cellulose cherries,” and in came sprigs of mint and fat wedges of pineapple.
Ask any modern-day bartender with a penchant for rum—Richie Boccato of Dutch Kills, Brian Miller, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Adam Kolesar, Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove, Paul McGee of Chicago’s Three Dots and a Dash—about where their garnish inspiration comes from, and they’ll mention Don and Vic without skipping a beat. “Carrying on tradition” and “honoring the forefathers of tiki” almost universally takes precedence over personal glory.
But once they’ve paid their homage, all bets are off. Where tiki’s first bartenders improvised and invented within the boundaries of the tropics, today’s tikiphiles have a few decades of kitsch to inspire them—and something to prove, namely to those who still equate it with cloying blender drinks. Tiki isn’t dead, and it’s desperate to show us all how bright and alive it really is.
At Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, bartender Martin Cate shakes cinnamon and nutmeg over a flaming skull bowl for a Medusa-on-fire effect. At Chicago’s Three Dots and a Dash, Paul McGee uses dry ice in his Zombies to create the effect of smoke. But he’s most famous for the banana shaped like a dolphin that adorns his Daiquiri.
This has become perhaps the most talked about tiki garnish of the modern era. The banana’s end is split open to resemble a mouth, then stuffed with a cherry, and cloves are pressed into the banana to resemble eyes, with pineapple leaves serving as fins. Brian Miller also uses it, and cites a Russian cocktail book written by Yaroslav Panov as his source.
When he’s not turning bananas into animals, Miller garnishes his drinks with everything from pirate action figures to a horse’s neck that spans the length of the glass—a garnish borrowed from classic cocktails that he uses in his Nui Nui. He also remembers a Tiki Monday—his traveling celebration of all things rum—where he garnished a drink with a flaming absinthe-soaked Oreo.
No, it’s not traditional. But as Miller puts it, tiki garnishes are there to “make the drink fun.” The advantage that today’s bartenders have over their predecessors is a wider range of influences, but their garnishes all maintain the same purpose. As Boccato explains it: “It’s a way for you to like the drink before you take your first sip.”
So where do we go after the banana dolphin? Can garnish go any farther over the top? Always, yes. In fact, Miller wants to see the comeback of the “mystery bowl lady,” a once-popular tradition at Fort Lauderdale’s Mai Kai: “They made this punch, and one person would come out with a gong and then a woman dressed as hula dancer would come out behind them with a punch bowl. The girl presents the thing to you, does a private hula dance for you, rubs your cheek with the back of her hand,” says Miller. “That’s the best garnish in the world.”
Hear a conversation with home tiki bar owner Joe Desmond about the in a segment of PUNCH Radio on Heritage Radio Network. [33:40]
Going 10 Rounds with Top Bartender Matt Belanger
The head bartender at the new Death & Co Los Angeles, tackles our speed round of questions.
W hat do you like to drink after a shift? “I’m a big fan of the classic bartender answer to this question—a short, cold pilsner and a shot of something—but, having worked for so long in bars that always have dry sherry sitting around, I think I’m now more frequently polishing off whatever quarter-full bottle of Manzanilla or Fino has been open for a couple days. Dry sherry is so crisp and delicious, especially after a long shift. I might need some right now.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “The first two jukebox staples that come to mind are “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” If we’re being honest, though, I’m usually looking to inflict my obscure taste on the poor unsuspecting public, so I’m probably going to put on a Fugazi song if they’ve got one or something else really obtrusive.”
After all these years bartending and creating drinks, do you still enjoy going out to bars? “Oh yeah! I mean going to bars in general I love, just because there is always such energy in a social space that’s really buzzing. They’re just fun places to hang out. And cocktail bars specifically, I still love going to and ordering a drink off the menu. I’m always looking to try new things and to get different perspectives on the craft, so I usually pick something that doesn’t make sense to me and order it.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “Oh man. It’s really hard to remember back that far. My real start in this industry was barbacking at a restaurant in Manhattan where the drinks were actually quite good, but I don’t think I realized it. I remember some firsts though: a 151 Swizzle at my first Tiki Monday, a Mai Tai at Dutch Kills. Makes sense that I’m still a sucker for tropical drinks.”
What book on cocktails or spirits is your go-to resource? “Having just opened Death & Co Los Angeles, and with our team in the process of working on the next Death & Co book, it’s actually been really inspiring to go back to Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails. I definitely know all those drink recipes off the dome by now, but there is so much in there about the culture, the energy and ethos of the bar from the early years. It’s helpful to keep that in the rearview mirror while we’re trying to capture lightning in a bottle again, both here in L.A. and on future projects.
Aside from that, I don’t find myself reading many cocktail books for technique assistance these days, but I love reading anything new just to get exposure to perspectives outside my own. Ryan Chetiyawardana’s two books keep finding their way off my bookshelf. I think, though, the one I most frequently crack open as point of reference is Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence.”
What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “A dry gin Martini and French fries. It’s a good high-low combo, the saltiness is a good foil for the Martini. It’s a go-to date night for my partner Lauren and I.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “I’m always pushing myself to come up with new ideas, or at least improving on old ones, so I hope it’s the next one! One that the D&C staff might vote for is called Palm Dreams, which is a pretty simple variation on a Daiquiri: rum, arrack, honey, calamansi (a southeast Asian sour orange) and Angostura Bitters. It is just complex enough to be its own thing, but so obvious and crushable, too.”
Is there one person (dead or alive) you’d like to make a cocktail for? “Sasha Petraske. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet him while he was with us, and he clearly touched so many and transformed this corner of our industry. We certainly wouldn’t be having this conversation without him.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “Really, whatever you’re pouring, but we have a Boilermaker on the menu in Standing Room (the front room at D&C L.A.) that I’m pretty proud of—it’s an Orion and a frozen shot of Cobrafire Eau de Vie de Raisin, which is an over-proof blanche Armagnac. Frozen eau de vie improves most things!”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “I don’t have a specific physical tool that I always bring, but the most essential part of my creative process is probably my cell phone and specifically the Evernote app. I’m always jotting down inspiration there when it strikes, and when we’re in development that’s where I get my creative work done. There’s probably hundreds of half-completed drink ideas in there waiting for their time to shine.”
Matt Belanger is the head bartender at the new Death & Co Los Angeles.
Cutting someone off from drinking can be a painful experience. For some reason or other, cutting someone off, meaning telling them in some way or another that you are not going to be serving them another drink, is tough for bartenders to do. Even if the guy is a prick, it doesn’t make it any easier. Sometimes, it makes it worse, as these are usually the guys that are going to argue about why they’re being cut off.
Some bartenders have trouble cutting people off because they are intimidated by the customer, don’t know how to say it properly, are afraid of what the customer (especially a regular customer) might say, worried about bar sales, repercussions from the owners etc etc.
The reality is, however, that none of the above matters. Countries around the world are adopting stricter liquor laws. In Canada, it is illegal to serve someone past the point of visible intoxication. If you over-serve a customer and that customer say, falls, trips, slips, gets caught driving drunk, or, heaven forbid, hits and kills someone while driving drunk, YOU, the bartender, will be responsible. And if you don’t live in a country with strict liquor laws, you still have a moral responsibility towards your guests and their safety.
Cutting the prick off may just be the best thing that you can do for him. No one wants to be cut off but when done correctly, it saves face and lives. And, more often than not, the person you cut off will apologize for their behaviour the next time they come into your bar.
That being said, here are a 4 tactful and professional ways to cut someone off at a bar.
Choose one that works for you and change it to fit your style.
1. Using the Law: “Sorry sir, but, by law, I’m obligated to tell you that I can’t continue serving you. It’s apparent to me that you are visibly intoxicated and therefore, I have to cut you off. Here, take this bottle of water, go enjoy the rest of the night but don’t let me catch you trying to order another drink or you’ll be asked to leave.”
2. Deflecting Blame Upwards: “Sorry, but my boss / manager / owner thinks that you’ve had enough and told me not to serve you another drink. Here’s a bottle of water on the house – you don’t have to stop enjoying your evening, but we just can’t serve you another drink.”
3. On Your Own: “Listen, I think you’ve had enough to drink already. I wasn’t going to give you the last one but I did because you seem like a nice guy / girl who just wants to unwind and relax a little. But I can’t serve you another one or I’ll lose my job. Here, take a bottle of water and go enjoy the rest of the night with your friends, just don’t let me catch you sneaking drinks ?
4. Straight Talk: “Sorry buddy but I think you’re at your limit. We have two options from here. I can give you a bottle of water and if you promise not to sneak drinks or try to order from another bartender, you can stay and enjoy the rest of the night. Or, if you choose to argue with me about it, you’ll be asked to leave.”
Keep in mind that no approach works every time. You are going to get some people that just don’t want to be cut off, don’t think they’re drunk, or are too drunk to know what’s good for them. If there are ever any problems cutting off a customer, get the owner or the manager to handle it – that’s what they’re there for. They will get better results and it’ll free up your time to continue providing outstanding service to the rest of your guests.
We hope this has given you some insight and confidence the next time you have to cut someone off at the bar. Cutting someone off from drinking is not always fun but 9 out of 10 times, the person will thank you for it later (and the 1 out of 10? He just can’t remember what happened at all – otherwise he’d apologize profusely as well we’re sure).
If you have an experience to share cutting off a patron, share it with us in the comments below. If you learned something, please share this page and our site so that other bartenders may learn as well.
The Best And The Funniest Dad Jokes EverGiedrė Vaičiulaitytė
Trying to determine what makes a good (or bad) dad joke is not so easy, but there are some certain ingredients that we can name. First of all, the one-liner has to be administered by a dad (not necessarily your own), it has to be both corny and somewhat amusing, and most of all it just has to have a hackneyed pun to make it the best joke ever. Although not everyone is a big fan of that type of comedy gold, there is a certain amount of appreciation any person can have for a well-timed funny pun. Especially if it's followed by thunderous laughter from the person and the classic finger-guns pose.
Oh, and if you're a dad joke aficionado like we are, you might be surprised to know, as to where these inappropriate jokes stem from. So, the first theory is because your beloved father just feels nostalgic to those times when you were little and laughed at just about anything. The other approach for these hilarious jokes is a much more anticipated one - your father wants to embarrass you as much as he can while he can. And that's precisely what these funny jokes are meant to do.
Scroll down below to see some of the best funny dad jokes around and don't forget to comment and vote for your favorites.
Down South: How to Cook a Raccoon
"Big George" Drayton comes by his nickname honestly. He is a stone pillar of a man. I remember him standing at the doors to Sea Island's Cloister hotelbuilt by my great-grandfather's brother in 1928back when I could hardly walk, smiling and calling out to guests by name. Drayton, 67, has worked at Sea Island for 45 years now. He grew up on a family farm near Hazlehurst, Georgia, a few counties inland.
While some of the culinary staples of Drayton's country childhoodfried chicken, biscuits, sweet potatoes and okrahave skyrocketed to headlining spots on big-city menus, baked raccoon, once a holiday treat for the Draytons and other rural families, has all but disappeared from the Southern dinner table.
"I grew up eating raccoon and sweet potatoes," Drayton says. "Once you put those sweet potatoes around him, and you parboil him, and you bake himlet me tell you, you have a good eat there. But none of the young people know how to do that."
Despite what you might think, raccoon tastes pretty good when cleaned and cooked properly. Like dark-meat chicken or turkey, though it is greasier and more tender than either.
Where can you find a raccoon to cook? If you live in the country, you might be able to buy one from a friend or neighbor. In South Georgia, I know, many more are shot and trapped than are cooked, and I imagine that most people would be more than happy to make money from a carcass that would otherwise go to waste.
If you can shoot, you can get one yourself. In some parts of the South, people hunt raccoons with dogs. 'Coon hunters in South Georgia, though, are more likely to go out with a powerful flashlight and a little .22 rifle. Have a friend shine a light into a live oak tree on a cold night, when the raccoons will be out feeding,* and you might catch the glimmer of a set of eyes. Get your gun up, quickly"Raccoons don't like to look at you," says my cousin, an avid 'coon hunter, "But they'll look at your light for a second"and shoot between them. Then follow Big George's instructions.
*Many of us associate raccoons with rabies, and for good reason they have been known to carry the disease. Typically, though, rabid raccoons will not be feeding. And the cold weather this time of year kills many rabid animals anyway. Still, be on the lookout for any unusual behavior and, if you get a raccoon from someone else, make sure you know exactly where it comes from. As always, if it makes you uncomfortablefor safety reasons, not just because it's raccoondon't eat it.
Ask a Bartender: 16 Questions with Colin Bryson at Dutch Kills - Recipes
Celebration lunch in this rather hidden place was full of chef's surprises. Simply loved new combination of ingredients. pumpkin soup and mushroom? yes, they do fit together, with some hidden spices probably :-). Entry and main dishes combination included various fish and meat dishes are all members of the family were surprised by quality and little surprises. Service superb. Sweet desert..do spare some place for them as they are amazing. a really creative chef today.
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It was my first time visiting gostilna Podfarovz but not last time. A small restaurant in a small town named Vipava, located near Vipava river spring. We visited this restaurant between the Restaurant week, autumn edition. Food was very tasty, prepared in a different home way by Chef Denis which was all the time there If we are having some questions about the food. On RW menu, for me, was the best pumpkin soup with cheese ravioli and pumpkin seeds. Very very tasty, yummy. Cheekbone and gravy was very tasty too. Staff was nice and helpful If we need them for any questions. The restaurant is closed in Mondays and Tuesday. Reservation in advance are necessary via phone. Enjoy like we did.
The two of us came here for lunch after reading good reviews, but the chef-owner and bartender were still able to surprise us with their food and passion.
Unlike fancy restaurants where expensive ingredients were used, the chef took simple raw materials to another level and whoa-ed both of us by his precision, balance in taste, and presentation, all the way from appetizer to dessert.
The bartender was also very knowledgeable and introduced us to a wonderful winery and amazing wine shops.
We both had a wonderful meal that lasted for nearly 3 hours before knowing it. Thank you very much!
The 12 Best Cocktail Bars In NYC
It's easy to forget the singular satisfaction of enjoying a well-made cocktail when "bottle of vodka" just sounds so much more efficient. But the art of mixology is flourishing here in the city that never chugs, and those who remain steadfast on the path to a beer gut are missing out! Here are some of our favorite spots for a classy tipple as always, blow up your own favorite spot in the comments.
THE DEAD RABBIT: When a bar earns awards like "World's Best Cocktail Menu," "World's Best Bar," or "Best North American Bar," it's natural to want to dismiss the hype. Luckily, the team behind The Dead Rabbit haven't let it get to their heads. Whether you just want a pint from the vibrant tap room, or some cocktail nirvana from the dense, graphic novel-style menu found in the second floor parlor, the Dead Rabbit can cater to your tastes. We're current obsessing over the "Slim Shady" (made with Powers Irish Whiskey and a peach-basil syrup) and can never leave the parlor without a downright incredible Irish Coffee. (Dan Dickinson)
Dead Rabbit is located at 30 Water Street between Broad Street and Coenties Slip in the Financial District (212-422-7906, deadrabbitnyc.com).
Clover Club on Facebook
CLOVER CLUB: For those lucky enough to call Cobble Hill home, Clover Club functions as the high-end neighborhood drinking hole, the slightly richer, fancier aunt to beer joint Bar Great Harry. Drinks here are serious business, with the menu boasting everything from fizzes to juleps to craft cocktails—there's the signature Clover Club ($12), made with gin, dry vermouth, lemon juice, raspberry syrup and egg whites the fierce Pyrenees ($12) made with aged apple brandy, Cognac, sherry, and coffee-infused dry vermouth and my personal favorite, the Gin Blossom ($12), made with gin, apricot eau de vie, bianco vermouth, and orange bitters. And you'll be pleased to learn that Clover Club also has one of our favorite fireplaces in town. (Rebecca Fishbein)
Clover Club is located at 210 Smith Street between Butler and Baltic Streets in Cobble Hill (718-855-7939, cloverclubny.com).
RAINES LAW ROOM: It's a good idea to make a reservation before hitting up this intimate Chelsea lounge, where customers may have to wait several hours for one of their cozy backroom booths. Raines Law Room fully embraces the speakeasy aesthetic from its windowless, living room-style interior down to a functioning doorbell guests have to ring upon arrival. A charming courtyard with outdoor seating adds a little breathing room to the snug space, while antique furniture, exposed brick walls, and a gold tin ceiling contribute to the bar's subdued swankiness.
A visit to Raines Law Room is more about the atmosphere than the alcohol, but strong, well-made drinks certainly won't detract from the experience. Raines recently opened an equally sexy second location in Midtown East with a secret entrance in the William Hotel to shield it from Grand Central runoff.
Raines Law Room has two locations: 48 West 17th Street between 5th and 6th Aves in Flatiron, and 2 East 39th Street inside the William Hotel. (raineslawroom.com).
DEATH & COMPANY: Though it's hard to pick just one VERY BEST cocktail bar in this city, we're particularly partial to Death & Co, David Kaplan's seductive East Village spot that's so enchanting you'll swoon before even having a sip. The atmosphere is thick with mystery and the menu is almost too sprawling, but there's something for everyone—you can opt for whiskey-based cocktails, agave, brandy, juleps, gins, classics, punches and the like, with drinks running about $15.
You can't go wrong with anything here, but gin fans should consider starting with the Raspberry Diva, made with Dorothy Parker Gin, Dolin Blanc, Vermouth, Dolin Dry Vermouth, St-Germain, and Clear Creek Framboise Eau de Vie. Brown spirit aficionados should try the Hunt & Peck, comprised of Rittenhouse 100 Rye Whiskey, Sombra, Mezcal, Carpano Antica Formula, Amaro Averna, and Campari.
Death & Co is located at 433 East 6th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A in the East Village (212-388-0882, deathandcompany.com).
PDT: It's cool to be jaded about the eight-year-old PDT, just as it's cool to be jaded about most popular things. But it's more fun, if you can stomach it, to simply enjoy it. IT'S OKAY to visit the cocktail bar accessible through the phone booth in the East Village hot dog joint! Just because the "speakeasy" trope is played out doesn't mean you can't have a delightful time at PDT. Rest assured that the cocktail menu, launched by the widely respected Jim Meehan and now overseen by head bartender Jeff Bell, is worth the wait, and the vibe is sophisticated but not pretentious. PDT's womblike space with its low, wooden wainscoting ceiling is one of the most pleasurable places to tie one on in NYC, and an ideal date spot once you finally get seated.
PDT (which stands for "Please Don't Tell" but nobody bosses me around) takes same-day reservations by phone for parties of two or more, starting at 3 p.m. daily. It's a small place, and they typically run out of seats in a half hour or less, so be quick on the trigger. If you fail on the reservation, PDT does accept walk-ins for parties of three or fewer, and if you show up when nothing's available, they are kind enough to take your cell phone number and call you when something opens up. (John Del Signore)
PDT is located at 113 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A in the East Village (212-614-0386, pdtnyc.com).
EMPLOYEES ONLY: One meticulously prepared cocktail at this elegant, convivial West Village lounge will make you wonder how you ever survived a singe Fireball shot. Employees Only once earned the title of World's Best Cocktail Bar, and with offerings like the Lazy Lover ($16), made with Leblon Cachaça & jalapeño-infused green chartreuse, and shaken with benedictine, lime juice & agave nectar and the transporting Mata Hari ($16), a straight-up martini made with Remy Martin 1738 Cognac and shaken with chai-infused Martini Rosso & pomegranate juice, it's easy to see why. Bonus points for the food menu which, while a tad overpriced, pairs all too well with the tasty drinks. (Rebecca Fishbein)
Employees Only is located at 510 Hudson Street between 10th and Christopher Streets in the West Village (212-242-3021, employeesonlynyc.com).
PEGU CLUB: The Pegu Club's bartending philosophy is all about the little things: fresh squeezed juice, handmade syrups, soda from bottles instead of a tap. Its owners pride themselves on their commitment to the cocktail craft, emphasizing quality over flashiness with drinks that are strong enough to merit the double-digit price points. Which isn't to say their menu is stale—legendary mixologist Audrey Saunders offers fresh twists on old favorites with creations like the champagne mojito and the punny Earl Gray MarTEAni livening up a selection of classics for the comfort zone drinker.
Servers are also happy to whip up custom drinks based on customers' preferred sweetness-to-bitterness ratios. If the multiverse of possibilities contained in this exercise of free will is in any way overwhelming, stick with their signature Pegu Club Cocktail to start: a simple, refreshing blend of bitters, lime juice, orange curaçao, and London dry gin.
Situated well into NYU territory, the Houston Street lounge gets its name and design from the 19th century British Officers' Club in Burma, because who doesn't love a shot of colonialism with their G&T? Lounge chairs and East Asian-style window grilles along a warmly lit hallway create an atmosphere that's elegant yet comfortable, perfect for sipping deceptively tasty drinks until all those little things start to add up.
Pegu Club is located at 77 West Houston Street between Greene Street and the Bowery in SoHo (212-473-7348, peguclub.com).
BEMELMANS BAR AT THE CARLYLE: Housed in the Upper East Side's luxurious Carlyle Hotel, Bemelmans Bar is as much a sightseeing attraction as it is a bar. The entire space has been decorated from walls to lampshades with murals by illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans, famous for the whimsical depictions of Paris that made his Madeline childrens' book series a classic. As the story goes, Bemelmans exchanged art for accommodation back in 1947, adding a fanciful touch to the bar's otherwise unremarkably refined décor. Beneath Bemelmans' imaginative scenes of Central Park, a sumptuous Art Deco interior harkens back to exactly the kind of Old New York glamour you'd expect from an establishment that serves $235-an-ounce caviar with its booze.
You will drink well at Bemelmans Bar, and for that you will pay. A variety of creative signature cocktails will each cost you a little over $20, while oysters, ceviches, and tartars are a far cry from the mixed nuts of lesser haunts. Try the Red Velvet, which combines whiskey with lemon juice, spiced plum syrup, bee pollen, and egg whites for fluff.
Beware ye the $15 per person cover charge, which may absorb half your drink money before you even enter the room. If you were hoping to make yourself comfortable, prepare to shell out $25-30 for a table.
The Carlyle is located at 35 East 76th Street between Madison and Park Avenues on the Upper East Side (212-744-1600, rosewoodhotels.com).
DUTCH KILLS: Any day now, Long Island City's throwback speakeasy Dutch Kills will emerge from its snackless cocoon a tastier butterfly with a full menu of what promises to be top notch bar food. Save for a few standard bar bites, food service at the old timey cocktail parlor has been on hiatus since late August as its owners plot their power collaboration with the M. Wells' team. Customers have plenty to be excited about until then, with a menu of cocktails (all $13) based on updated recipes from classic cocktail guides the likes of Henry Craddock's seminal Savoy Cocktail Book. The mixologists at Dutch Kills don't mess around, and those willing to spend a little extra for a great cocktail will get their money's worth down to the hand-cut ice. You can also opt for bartender's choice and let fate work its magic on the spirit of their choosing.
Happy hours held Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. offer a solid range of simple whiskey, rum, and vodka drinks for $8 and draw a diverse crowd. Dutch Kills owes its drink quality and unpretentious atmosphere in large part to the expertise of late co-owner Sasha Petraske, who passed away recently. He's left a fine legacy behind him.
Dutch Kills is located at 27-24 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, Queens (718-383-2724, dutchkillsbar.com)
THE SUMMIT BAR: Squeezing into this lovely East Village cocktail bar can be challenging on a busy Friday or Saturday night, as people with good taste and cash to burn tend to pick this spot to hide out from the throngs of inebriated frat brothers that terrorize the streets outside. But once you're in, there are masterful drinks to imbibe, indeed. I'm a fan of Summit's classic cocktails—an $11 Sazerac here is the stuff of dreams, as is the $10 Old Fashioned and the $10 whiskey sour. But if it's schmancy signature cocktails you're after, you can't go wrong with The Guv'nor, a $12 winner made with house blended whiskey, toasted cinnamon infused agave, Japanese Yuzu juice and orange juice. The very strong John Lee Hooker, also $12, is another deathly treat, made with Peat Monster Scotch Mist, Kentucky bourbon, lemon juice, Summit orange and Sarsaparilla bitters, and Hop Stoopid beer.
Note that if you can't swing a $12 drink, Old Fashioneds, The Guv'nor, and a handful of other delectable cocktails are available for $6-$7 during happy hour, which runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. (Rebecca Fishbein)
The Summit Bar is located at 133 Avenue C near East 9th Street in the East Village (347-465-7911, thesummitbar.net)
THE UP & UP: The mantra at Greenwich Village's The Up & Up is "high-end, low-key" a welcome sentiment in a neighborhood where fratty establishments prevail. Its host building previously housed the historic Gaslight Cafe, where folk musicians of Dylan's ilk cursed the area with the artsy cred that would later prove its downfall. The unfussy interior pays homage to its former incarnation with floral William Morris wallpaper and framed Mad Men-era print ads fortunately, a bubbly playlist of '80s tunes keeps any potential coffeehouse shtick at bay.
Aside from a few thoughtfully prepared snacks, cocktails are the main event imaginative original potions have names reminiscent of grindhouse movies (Stone Crush, Powder Burn, God's Daisy Chain) and are equally as entertaining. If you're interested in sampling a wide variety of drinks, Up & Up serves half-sized cocktails preciously termed "halfies," which are perfectly legit so long as you don't call them shooters.
The Up & Up is located at 116 MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village (212-260-3000, upandupnyc.com).
AMOR Y AMARGO: Finally, a safe space for people from all walks of life to embrace the deep-seated bitterness at the core of every human soul. Amor y Amargo is a "bitters tasting room" that specializes in bold, complex concoctions featuring the most polarizing players in the cocktail game. Customers choose from an extensive list of house specials, bespoke creations, and updated classics, all with the added heft of their more herbaceous cousins. Connoisseurs can cut to the chase with curated flights of three bitters varieties each, organized around a flavor profile the Fernet flight promises "menthol, earth and spice" for $16. Inexperienced drinkers need not be intimidated by the overall atmosphere of expertise and can ask to take it slow with the bitters before getting serious.