Back when I was bartending, I created a cocktail menu comprised of a few of my favorite drinks to give the bar’s (relatively young) patrons ideas on what to order. That menu was later instrumental in landing my first professional writing job, so I thought it was pretty good — it is a sticky note scrawled with crayon compared to the cocktail menus offered at The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in lower Manhattan. And now those menus have been collected into a handsome new book, The Dead Rabbit Mixology and Mayhem.
Named the best bar in the world by Drinks International Magazine, The Dead Rabbit is a Irish-style pub with a historical bent, like you stepped into a bar off the set of Gangs of New York. The actual gangs from New York City’s past are the inspiration for both the bar’s name and the story behind the bar’s now legendary cocktail menus. The menus are partly selections of the (painstakingly created) cocktails on offer and partly dark graphic novels following the exploits of a man-sized rabbit, once the leader of the Dead Rabbits street gang circa 1860s who roves the streets of NYC in the 1970s.
The book gives recipes alongside the story, and the bar’s owners have also included everything you’d want to know about how it’s all done — from the making of the menus to how they select their cocktails to how to make a perfect drink. The recipes are pretty involved and the story is intense, but this book will do what all good drink menus should — make you very thirsty.
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