Few drinks are as iconic as the daiquiri — and we’re not talking about the frozen variety dispensed out of machines into souvenir cups. The classic daiquiri is held in high regard by bartenders and connoisseurs alike, and it’s the centerpiece of a new party hosted by The Rum Boyz on Tuesday nights at Brooklyn’s Fatty ‘Cue (91 South 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718-599-3090).
The restaurant transforms a bit for the event: A man named Herbie serves as an official greeter to a room filled with streamers, a banner, and some strung up lights, where a DJ works to relax the crowd into forgetting the work week is only two days in. And then, of course, there are those daiquiris, mixed up by a bartender who counts Milk & Honey’s Sasha Petraske among his former bosses.
That bartender is Zachary Gelnaw-Rubin, who found his way to the pop-up daiquiri business after a 15-year career in the service industry. Starting as a barista and making his way into the restaurant field, he realized his true calling was to be part of the reinvigorated New York City cocktail movement. So he worked his way up from doorman to barman, going behind the stick alongside respected bartenders like Abraham Hawkins at Dutch Kills, the bar where he discovered his favorite cocktail flavor profiles and love for the daiquiri.
“Every bartender going through training goes through that process,” Gelnaw-Rubin notes of his personal palate discovery. The popularity of the daiquiri among bartenders helped Gelnaw-Rubin realize that the drink was strong enough to command a following, and so the seeds were planted for a daiquiri focused residency. Partnering with David DeStefano, whose background in logistics in the wine industry as well as promotions made him a valuable partner behind the scenes, The Rum Boyz connected with Fatty ‘Cue to establish the party, putting the focus on a drink menu that is just four cocktails long.
While The Rum Boyz may eventually end up settling down — Gelnaw-Rubin notes they’re looking in the “11205” (Bed-Stuy) zone for a potential brick-and-mortar spot — the general consensus is all about having fun in the present.
Head down to Fatty ‘Cue starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday nights to get in on the action. Hit the next page for a few photos.