Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice.
Today’s call comes from Gino Pellarin, bartender at The Happiest Hour (121 West 10th Street; 212-243-2827).
Gino Pellarin has worked in the restaurant and bar industry since 1999, and he’s been behind the stick at places like The NoMad Bar, so he’s witnessed the rise of cider firsthand. But he never ordered it until he went out with a friend who opted for a cider with bitters. Pellarin decided that combination was worth trying, and it’s been his go-to ever since.
“After work or going out, I found as I’ve gotten older I can’t drink that much beer anymore,” he says. “I love Donna’s Americano on tap. It’s bittersweet with a hint of orange essence. I can knock back many of these without getting hammered. Sometimes cider can be a tad sweet, so I add bitters to dry it out and round out the flavors. Plus, I love Angostura.”
Pellarin is mostly drawn to cider because of its crisp taste and ability to go down smoothly, which allows him to order a whiskey on the side if the occasion calls for it. He orders Harpoon Apple Cider at Bushwick Country Club and Doc’s Apple Cider at Extra Fancy.
For those interested in experimenting with cider, Pellarin notes that the ingredient can be used like a mixer with rye or an aged spirit like tequila, too.
When he’s craving a classic cocktail, Pellarin opts for a daiquiri. “It’s more just kind of a bartender handshake,” he says. “A lot of using different rums to create different flavor profiles. You can kind of recreate the drink in your own way.” He likes the daiquiris at Featherweight in addition to The Happiest Hour. The recipes for two varieties of daiquiri can be found below.
The Happiest Hour Daiquiri by Jim Kearns
3/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 ounce Lemon Oleo Saccharum
1/2 ounce Appleton VX Jamaican Rum
1/2 ounce Rum JM Blanc 80 proof Rum
1 ounce Flor de Cana 4 year Rum
Shake with ice. Strain into coupe. Garnish with grated lime zest.
Lemon Oleo Saccharum:
With a knife, peel 5 lemons. Cover them with 1 to 1.5 times their weight in superfine sugar. Let sit for a few days. Strain with a chinois.
Opening Day Daiquiri by Gino Pellarin
1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 ounce Simple Sugar 1:1 ratio
1/4 ounce Smith and Cross Jamaican Rum
1 ounce Flor de Cana 4 year
1 ounce Rhum JM Blanc 100 proof
Shake with 1/2 squeezed lime shell and ice. Strain into coupe.