9 Brooklyn Bartenders Talk Booze 


Here at the L Magazine, we consider ourselves experts when it comes to the fine art (ok, the not-so-fine art) of drinking. But, in reality, we are really just amateurs. Appreciative and avid amateurs, but amateurs nonetheless. So, we decided to go to the experts and find out what they had to say about all things booze. Here's what bartenders from 9 of our favorite Brooklyn bars think about the drinks that they make for all of us. In a world of amateur drinkers, these guys are the professionals. And the one thing they all have in common? They want customers to stop ordering Long Island Iced Teas. Which, why is that still happening? We can do better, Brooklyn.


Who:Eric Gill
Where: Lavender Lake

What is your drink of choice?
I like, uh, Sazerac. Sometimes I like red wine. And sometimes just beer.

What is your favorite locally made beer, wine, or liquor?
I like this Greenpoint Gin we have right now. It’s really good. There’s like, they do vacuum distillation things and like the botanicals come out more. And there’s a little bit of cinnamon in it which is interesting for a gin.

What is your favorite seasonal drink for spring?
I like a crisp beer on a spring day. I don’t drink much wine but a white wine or rose.

What is the most popular drink ordered at your bar?
The John Parker is really good. It’s rum, fresh lime juice, ginger syrup.... We just started doing infused syrups like rosemary and thyme. The thyme one is really good, it’s rum, thyme, and elderflower.

What is your least favorite, or the most annoying, drink to make?
Long Island Iced Tea. Stuff that’s gross.

What’s the drink that is the most fun to make?
I like shaking. I like shaking stuff. People make fun of like I get a weird face when I shake....I like making like Old Fashioneds too, Manhattans. You stir, so you don’t shake, but it can be really fun to get that moment of meditation.


Who: Hilary Krishnan
Where: Fulton Grand

Drink of choice?
I really like whiskey and I work in a whiskey bar so I have a variety of really delicious bourbons, rye, single malts at my disposal.

Favorite locally made?
I love the guys at Six Point and the guys at Single Cut. I think those two breweries in particular they have a lot of heart and they are excited about what they do and that’s exciting.

Favorite seasonal spring?
I guess box starts to come out. It’s a style that we usually get a lot of good ones. Box-style beer. I’m a wine drinker too, so when it’s springtime I’m like bring on the rosé.

Most popular at your bar?
I’d say we’ve always got that solid IPA that someone wants. People want their IPAs and we will provide them

Least favorite drink to make?
You know people always say that or people always apologize when they order a margarita or a martini but for me it’s a change of pace. I don’t really get annoyed at all because I pour beer and whiskey into glasses all day so normally i like the opportunity to show off a little cocktail prowess.

Most fun to make?
I like when people say “I want a cocktail, I don’t really know what I want but this is the liquor” and they kind of trust you. So that’s fun.


Drink of choice?
Right now it would be tequila. Espolon.

What is your favorite favorite locally made beer/wine/liquor?
Eagle Rare (This is actually made in Kentucky though).

Seasonal spring drink?
Corpse Reviver. A classic cocktail.

Most popular drink sold here?
Here? PBR and a shot.

Least favorite drink to make?
Long Island Iced Tea.

What’s your favorite to make?
Anything classic. Anything from the classic era like speakeasy era cocktails. Like Bees Knees’s and Old Fashioneds, stuff like that.


Where: 68 Jay

Drink of choice?
In the summertime I like to drink white wine sangria, but otherwise I like nice IPAs, or nice white wines. Beer. Or good tequila. I guess I like a lot of things.

Locally made?
I think the Six Point brewery makes really great beers and they’re really taking off, and especially all the canned beers, like the Six Point Sweet Action I think is really nice.

Favorite seasonal?
White wine sangria. I don’t drink it in the wintertime. Or you know, when I lived in New Orleans, Mint Juleps would be a great spring drink.

Most popular?
Probably, on happy hour, Stella and Brooklyn Lager, maybe with a side of Jameson, a side of whiskey. I’d say that’s the most popular at happy hour and generally speaking you know you kind of can't go wrong with Stella or Brooklyn on tap. And you know we get a lot more tourists who just walked across the bridge or DUMBO's on the map now so I’ll direct them towards Brooklyn. And also I think Brooklyn Lager do support a lot of events, a lot of art events in the city so when people don’t know which kind I’ll suggest Brooklyn.

Least favorite to make?
Long Island Iced Teas. I don’t like to make them.

Favorite drink to make?
I don’t mind fixing a nice martini sometimes. I like fixing a Gimlet because I like that effervescent smell of the lime. I don’t mind mixing anything, I like fixing drinks. I make quite a lot of Manhattans, I don’t like the drink myself but I like to make it.


Who: Elsie
Where: High Dive

Drink of choice:
I like an Old Fashioned. Lately it’s been a Last Word, which is a gin drink with green chartreuse and lime juice and maraschino. It’s very heavy on the green chartreuse flavor but it’s been a good summer drink for me.

Locally made?
I like the Six Point Crisp.

Seasonal spring drink?
We’ve been doing fresh Greyhounds here. Just fresh squeezed grapefruit and vodka. That’s been doing pretty good.

Popular drink?
Here’s a big beer place. I mean we have 19 taps, so for the most part it’s beer. And Jameson, obviously.

Worst drink to make?
Most people would say an Irish Carbomb. I’m not too into making Long Island Iced Teas either.

Most fun?
I like making martinis.


Who: Bo Wayne
Where: Superfine

Drink of choice?
Right now a Saketini. My favorite way of making it is three parts sake to two parts vodka with a cucumber garnish. It’s delicious. It’s so good. I love sake.

Locally made:
Well, one of the things, we have it here, I absolutely love is the Brooklyn Gin.

Seasonal spring drink?
Actually one of the drinks we have here is perfect for spring and summer. It’s called the Foxy Tanya. It’s got organic vodka, muddled cucumber, muddled mint, and we do a house made sour mix. It’s really refreshing. It’s the thing I recommend the most.

Popular drink?
Lately the thing that’s being ordered the most is the Sweet Brooklyn. It’s made with the Brooklyn Gin we have. It’s muddled cucumber, the Brooklyn gin, and a splash of Saint Germain. It’s a really nice martini.

Worst to make?
I hate to say it but I really hate making Bloody Marys because they’re so involved. I mean we make really incredible Bloody Marys so people love to order them, it’s just hard. But other than that I don’t mind making anything.

Most fun?
Nothing is coming to mind at the moment. I mean I like making most drinks. They’re a lot of fun to do usually.


Who: Ryan
Where: Pearl’s Social and Billy Club

What's your drink of choice?
Beer and whiskey.

What's your favorite locally made beer, wine, or whiskey?
Captain Lawrence.

What's your favorite seasonal drink for spring?
Strawberry Tom Collins.

What's the most popular drink ordered here?
Uncle Touchy. It's tequila, lemon, honey, ginger beer, and bitters.

What's your least favorite/most annoying drink to make?
Everything's pretty easy. In the past I've worked at places that make things with fizz, which is pretty annoying.

What's your favorite drink to make?
I like making the classics, like Old Fashioneds.


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Where:No Name Bar

What's your drink of choice?
Bud Light

What's your favorite locally made beer, wine, or liquor?
Blue Point Toasted Lager.

What's your favorite seasonal drink for spring?

Bud Light.

What's the most popular drink ordered here?

What's your least favorite/most annoying drink to make?
Long Island Iced Tea.

What's your favorite drink to make?
Bud Light.


Who: Eric Montoya
Where: Good Co.

What's your drink of choice?
It really depends on my mood. I'm mostly a bourbon drinker. Mostly a good Basil Hayden's.

What's your favorite locally made beer, wine, or liquor?
Brooklyn Summer Ale.

What's your favorite seasonal drink for spring?
A strawberry-mango margarita. We do our own infusions here.

What is the most popular drink ordered here?
Normally people here do a beer and a shot combo.

What's your least favorite/most annoying drink to make?
Anything that I have to muddle.

What's your favorite drink to make?
Any of our infusions are fun to make. One in particular is called a John Daly. We do a house-infused sweet tea vodka with lemonade, so it's like the alcoholic version of an Arnold Palmer.

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