Almost nine years ago, my cousin returned home to NY with some of friends from LA. After a show they took me to what became the first of many, speak-easy style bars to pop up all over the country in recent history.
Without giving too much away, the entrance of Milk & Honey looked like the side entrance of a closed shop, wedged between two tenement apartment buildings on the lower east side.
Once inside we were treated to some of the tastiest libations I’ve come across. I’ve always hated the term “Mixologist”, however in this case it was well deserved. The drinks were all made from raw ingredients (no mixes, or syrups). ie: The ginger ale was made from pressed ginger. Ice was chipped with a pick from a large block.
On the bathroom door was a list of the house rules.
The owner was there that night, and told our small group about his passion for the place and the details, siting his choice of napkin as example. The folded paper under our drinks was the very same that’s clipped around your neck in the dentist chair. “It’s the most absorbent”, he beamed.
Last week C told me about this place downtown, here in LA, that she wanted to take me to. The more she talked of it, the more I was reminded of Milk & Honey.
We went. It was lovely. The piano player at the center of the room, was a great addition. The friendly waitress brought over our drinks and placed them down on very absorbent napkins. Turns out the two bars share an owner.
It feels like an old friend just moved into the neighborhood.
The Varnish is a super sexy little hidden spot downtown to get super sexy fancy cocktails. their hot buttered rum (pictured here)is to die for. and i’m only slightly embarrassed to make yet another Harry Potter reference by saying that i imagine this is what butterbeer tastes like.
(ps. I am very proud of my ability to convey sexiness and yumminess in very low light with a point and shoot.)