Besides the actual ceremony, the next best thing about a wedding is the party, the bar experience and the food. So when deciding on your menu that will have your guests talking long after the wedding is over requires a great amount of research when it comes to your bar setup.
As a cocktail waitress at one of the top cocktail bars in Harlem, I know a thing or two when it comes to the experience of exploring a cocktail bar. Prior to my employment at 67 Orange in New York City, which in reality gives you more of a speakeasy atmosphere bar setup in Harlem that opened some five years to date, I knew very little about cocktails.
This inconspicuous venue sits in one of Harlem’s historical blocks. If you move too quickly you will miss it. With its long dark velvet curtains in the window, small golden numbers 67 nailed to the wood beside the front door, make it difficult to notice.
When you join us for dinner and cocktails, expect an experience. At your arrival you are greeted and seated at a table of your choice, the ambiance is felt on both levels of this intimate space.
Our bartender put great effort into creating each concoction poured into your glass. So let me get into explaining who we are and what we do. The entertaining part of performing this labor of love is the quest of discovering the mixers that our patron enjoy drinking. Be assured we have something for EVERYONE.
We pride ourselves on pleasing each of our guests; for example, on a cool New York spring evening, to a patron visiting our establishment, I will recommend something light, refreshing, and savory for their enjoyment, like the Moscow Mule.
As an expert in the industry it is my duty to be observant and make your experience with us a memorable one.
If I were to wait on a “gin & tonic” or “rum & coke” kinda guy/gal, my approach is calculated, I have perfected the ways to steer that person in the direction of a cocktail that will make them forget about such simple request forever.
As a professional bartender, I have made it my point to find a more creative way to be innovative about my approach when I attempt to awaken the taste buds of everyone that comes and sits in our establishment.
All of our ingredients are fresh. Our selection of spirits and liqueurs are top shelf. The bartenders are seasoned and take pride in their craft.
The effort we put into serving each guest is a well-crafted seduction we take pride in every time someone sits before us. We provide you with a detailed description, and paint a picture that leaves you at the edge of your seat, that usually does the trick…
‘Emancipation Again’ which is an crop organic cucumber vodka, muddled with cucumbers, ginger, cilantro, and lime, there’s a bit of agave, vinegar, citronage, and lime in there as well. Shaken with ice & served up in a chilled coupe glass. It’s super refreshing, light, a hint of sweetness and smells wonderful while you’re sipping on it.
Another favorite (for the whiskey lovers) is the ‘Le Grand Old Fashioned’ nothing like the traditional Old Fashion. This cocktail uses a Redemption high rye bourbon, baked apple bitters, benedictine, then stirred with ice and lastly poured over a very large ice cube. Afterwards there is a flamed orange peel rubbed over the glass to give it a smokey essence.
Visit Other Establishments and Explore
As a professional I find it very valuable to my craft to know what other professionals are serving in their establishments. So I make it my point to visit quite a few cocktail bars in the city & throughout my travels. I find that each establishment is unique in its own ways. I recently visited Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco, CA. They had over 80 cocktails on their menu. I must admit, I was a little overwhelmed, however, I didn’t let that stop my adventure. Jayson Wilde who was tending the bar the evening of my visit was given my preferences and I allowed him to create. He made the perfect cocktail for me.
The experience truly leaves you wanting to explore all kinds of different cocktails. I’ve been in the industry for about four years and I’m always amazed at how each cocktail is created, the many different ideas, flavors, scents, emotions put into each one.
Name Your Poison
Names too, oh yes that’s very important! I had the honor of naming a cocktail at my establishment, inspired by gin.
‘The Color Purple’, yes like the film. Ingredients consist of Plymouth London Gin, muddled blackberries, lavender bitters, Creme De Violette, St Germain, lemon juice & simple syrup. The flavor is divine and I’m sure you can guess why I chose to name it such.
I can go on and on all day about cocktail bars and such. So as you spend time planning your nuptials, take a breather in between selecting the wedding dress, selecting your venue, and planning your seating charts; grab a cocktail, get creative, get in the mood for a nice adult beverage.
If you are feeling up to it, check out yelp and search cocktail bars in your area, go explore the menu, and remember drink responsibly. Cheers!
Alisha May is an expert cocktail mixer with a passion for people and the experience. You can catch her at 67 Orange In Harlem New York.