With the opening of Union Square Cafe in 1985, Danny Meyer propelled himself into New York’s restaurant big leagues.
More than 30 years later he still maintains that position with an array of legendary establishments around the city. And that’s not to mention his popular haute burger chain Shake Shack that has more than 100 locations in the U.S. and abroad.
But, in my opinion, one of his most successful recent projects is surprisingly not a restaurant but a bar—Porchlight. The cavernous watering hole on Manhattan’s far west side, which opened in early 2015, offers a range of original concoctions and interesting twists on old favorites. It was the was the brainchild of longtime Union Square Hospitality Group employee Mark Maynard-Parisi and is led by the talented duo of head bartender Nick Bennett and general manager Mike Shain.
While the drinks certainly take center stage, there is a menu of Southern-inspired snacks and heartier dishes if you get hungry, including Texas red chili, smoked cheddar biscuits, and a bison burger served on a brioche bun. (It is, after all, a Danny Meyer establishment.)
The bar recently launched a new drinks menu that pairs perfectly with a New York autumn. Here are the five drinks you should try this season at Porchlight.
You’d be hard pressed to find a drink more suited for the season than the Three Rings Cocktail. It features bourbon, apple brandy, dried cherries, and cider vinegar. It’s basically fall in a glass!
Ricky Bobby Rickey
Even if you’re not a Will Ferrell fan you’ll enjoy this concoction that calls for a blend of rums, citrus vinegar, and cinnamon. It’s topped with club soda, which makes it a perfect sipper for those long October weekend afternoons.
You Go Gin Coco!
Just because it’s now fall it doesn’t mean you have to give up enjoying refreshing tiki drinks. The You Go Gin Coco! is a perfect example of an autumnal tropical cocktail and calls for both coconut oil-infused gin and coconut tea-infused sweet vermouth as well as lime juice and pineapple syrup.
Love Greyhounds? You’ll probably like the similar Gypsy Colt that was created by Nick Bennett and adds cinnamon simple syrup and lime juice to the traditional mix of vodka and fresh grapefruit juice.
Be warned: This is not the standard whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters Manhattan. Not only does it call for American brandy, Scotch, and Cherry Heering but it also includes a syrup made from porter beer. It was in fact designed as a next-level beer cocktail.