Friday, June 24, 2011

cocktail hour: angel's share

One of the things that makes summer exciting: the profusion of bright and shiny new summer cocktail menus. As taken as I am with winter-perfect concoctions involving whiskey, egg and spices, there's something exciting about a refreshing tipple made with vibrant summer fruits. A couple of weeks ago, my cousin Melissa and I went to St. Mark's Place to enjoy the grilled goodness at Yakitori Taisho and then have some delicious cocktails at Angel's Share. Angel's Share is a speakeasy of sorts that's only accessible through the Japanese restaurant Village Yokocho. They have some truly exceptional Japanese bartenders that take their craft very, very seriously and I just love it there.

It was a humid Tuesday evening so I immediately gravitated to this summery drink: Watermelon Man. Made with organic cucumber-flavored vodka, fresh watermelon juice and a sprig of basil, it was deliciously refreshing and deceptively strong.
Melissa picked the Velvet Scene, a drink apparently conceived by pastry chef Chika of Chikalicious. This effervescent drink contains Tanqueray gin, fresh kiwi and fresh grapefruit juice made just from the sweet pulp, all spiked with a bit of honey and lavender.
The most memorable drink of the night, however, was the Cheek to Cheek, which had us so intrigued that we didn't want to share. It starts out typical enough for a cocktail: white rum, muddled berries, fresh lemon juice and white cranberry juice. But then Vincotto is added in—slow-cooked, non-fermented grape reduced until its sugars have caramelized. And then comes balsamic honey, yoghurt and mascarpone foam, and suddenly you're in dessert territory. Is it a cocktail masquerading as dessert or vice versa? I don't know, but it is decadent and delicious.
If my evening at Angel's Share was any indication of how the rest of the summer will turn out, it's gonna be a sweet, sparkling and deliciously tipsy one!

Angel's Share is located at 6 Stuyvesant St., 2nd fl, New York, NY, 10003.

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