Harding’s For All Things Cocktails in Manhattan

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After-work cocktails are kinda a thing in New York City.  While my drink of choice is usually a cracking cold glass of white (or champers if I’m feeling really fancy), I’ll occasionally splurge on a $14 cocktail…and savor every last sip.  But, like many New Yorkers, I’ve often wondered what makes these cocktails so special…how hard could it be to add a splash of vodka into a glass of cranberry juice?

When I’m ordering a fancy bevvy, how do I know the bartender is giving me $14 worth of spirit?  Perhaps most importantly, why are there never cocktails made with Dr. Pepper?

So to get some answers to my questions, I headed to Hardings for their monthly Bartending Class with Mixologist Derrick Turner.

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Ok, onto the class.  Derrick taught us 3 different drinks, all featuring St. George Spirits (themes change monthly though, often according to seasonal variety.)  My favorite was the “Simply Wicked”.  I included the recipe below for your drinking pleasure;-)

How do you know your bartender isn’t skimping on the booze?  An 8 second pour, my friends (8 seconds = 2 ounces of liquor).  Any less, just give him/her the stink eye and they should know exactly what you’re referring to.  (Thanks, Derrick!)

Oh, and I have a totally new appreciation for paying top dollar for the fancier drinks…seriously, not easy work!  By the end of class I had splashed liquid all over my work station (and myself!), and while my drinks certainly tasted delicious, they were no where as pretty as Derrick’s…in fact, they were pretty sloppy.  Bartending fail, Jess!  And the fact that bartenders have to memorize all these crazy concoctions, while making them, AND carrying on a conversation about your day?!  Major, major props, mixologists!

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Simply Wicked

1/4 oz. St. George absinthe

1/2 oz. agave syrup

Pinch of watercress

1.5 oz. gin

Garnish with watercress and give it a proper mixing in a chilled glass with ice, and then strain into your glass.  as Derrick said, “you’ll be drinking pure happiness.”

Jessica Tiare Bowen
Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He's the inspiration for her first published children's book, "Park Avenue Pound Puppy." The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.

Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.

She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New York...as used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.
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