Here's The Jist:

As a Drink Editor I receive a lot of requests for restaurant, bar and nightlife recommendations. So I started a blog to chronicle Chicago's social scene which eventually morphed into New York's drinking and dining scene. After years in Chicago, I'm now a full time resident of NYC, the East Village to be exact. Look forward to sharing the latest and greatest from the wine & spirits world, straight from the Big Apple.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Table Kits at the Underground

Bottle service is SO last year. Why don’t you forget it and opt for a table kit instead? What’s a table kit, you ask? Well, I headed to the Underground to find out what Benjamin Newby, GM and cocktail creator, had concocted.

The latest offering is a cocktail experience, where well-trained servers in Cold War Era booty shorts take an artisan approach to pouring a drink.

Seeing that I had just come from Rockit (where I had my first Kobe beef with brie burger, followed by a couple of vodka martinis with three bleu cheese olives - more on that obsession later), I could really only handle two of the kits. I was already familiar with Cosmos and Mojitos, so I settled on the Absinthe and the St. Germain table kits.

And out they came.

The Absinthe Table Kit was served on a silver platter with glasses reminiscent of Waterford crystal. It was as if we were about to enjoy tea at the Dorchester, except Absinthe had taken the place of Earl Gray (okay, okay, it was dark and I may or may not have had a couple of martinis, but hey, they looked beautiful). As I took my quick drink of Absinthe (you drink it as you would a shot, but with more revere - you’re drinking Pernod Absinthe, the oldest Absinthe brand in the world - show some respect, people!). I couldn’t help but feel as if I were entering a forbidden world. A round of Absinthe drinks are made in the traditional way with sugar and fire and served per person ($15 each). Each table is limited to one round and this particular kit is only available until midnight.

Next was the St. Germain Table Kit. For those yet to experience the lovely nuances of the French elderflower liqueur, I encourage you to try it as a secondary flavor with your next cocktail (Champagne, sparkling water, St. G). It offers a fantastic flavor - one of my favorites. St. Germain naturally enhances the flavors of Champagne (or sparkling wine) and brings out notes that you may not normally pick up. Add a dash of St. Germain to your Champagne flute and suddenly peach, pear and citrus flavors can be detected. At UG, the St. Germain cocktails are served on the rocks with a silver straw spoon. A carafe serves about six for $75 and you have the option of adding on a bottle of Champagne for $50.

I didn’t have a chance to try the Cosmo Kit or the Mojito Kit, but you can imagine that high attention to detail is provided to ensure the ultimate cocktail experience.

And for those who like to detox to retox, Sunday brunch at Rockit can either be the perfect hangover cure or just another excuse to keep the party going. Rockit has one of the best gourmet Bloody Mary bars in the city and they’re channeling UG with their Mimosa Kits. The Sunday Funday Kits feature an assortment of fresh fruits and seasonal juices, including orange, pineapple, mango and pomegranate, served in carafes and accompanied by a bottle of Champagne: $50 for Veuve Cliquot, $30 for Domaine Chandon or $5 per glass.

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