Giuseppe Gonzalez, a partner in the forthcoming Painkiller, doesn’t want you to leave his place empty-handed. He recently dropped a few more hints about what to expect from his tiki-themed bar, opening in mid-April on the Lower East Side. Not a traditional tiki bar, Painkiller will serve gin and whiskey drinks in addition to rum cocktails. The Scorpion Bowls, the showcase of every great tiki bar, will come in foot-and-a-half-tall glasses instead of low bowls, and will all be named after 1960s New York street gangs, like the Golden Guineas and the Jolly Stompers. The garnishes, such as big sticks for fresh bamboo, are up for grabs.
“I want people to take everything,” says Gonzalez. “There’ll be bamboo everywhere. You see it, you want to walk out with it. It’s cool. It’s a compliment.”
The Jolly Stomper, essentially a “Scorpion Swizzle” because it’s filled with crushed ice and a long swizzle stick is used to mix it, incorporates gin, homemade orgeat syrup, fresh lime juice, and falernum, and is topped with — of all things — red wine. Gonzalez also revealed that frozen drinks, once shunned by serious bartenders, will be served. But he and partner Richard Boccato won’t deviate too much from the classic model: tiki mugs will be available (to drink out of and for purchase) and the place will have an exotic feel.
“You’re already on an island: Manhattan,” he adds. “You’re right where you need to be.”
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