Tag Archives: Cienfuegos
Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. In Locals Know, I explore a new city through the tours of Urban Adventures.
Last year, I helped design a tour for Urban Adventures that has been a huge success (if I do say so myself). It involves cocktails, so how could it be bad?
I lead the tour pretty regularly but we have about three other guides that also do a great job with it. So on the latest episode of Locals Know, I experience the New York Craft Cocktail tour from a brand new perspective thanks to Josh. Watch the video below to get a sense of the tour and watch us discover hidden bars, new speakeasies, and drink a whole lots of well-crafted cocktails.
Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.
The punches that are all the rage nowadays are very different from the bug juice we were served at sleepaway camp. They’re also a huge step up from the ones spiked at the high school prom. These are elaborate, complex concoctions that will cost you a pretty penny (between $30-$100, depending on the number in your party). So I recommend bringing your high school friends or having a summer camp reunion.
Cienfuegos, which is a colorful hidden Cuban rum bar in the East Village (it’s owned by the folks behind Death & Company), translated to “Ten Fires” and specializes in these punches. Fortunately, they also offer them as a single serving (still a steep $14) so you don’t have to have an entourage to get a taste. Which was good news for two of us, since we wanted to try the next Time Out list item and didn’t feel like stumbling home.
The cocktails are divided into a number of different categories, such as Fruit Forward and Light & Fizzy. I gravitated toward the section labeled Nicely Spiced because I know rum drinks have a danger of being overly sweet and I wanted some spice to balance it out. Turns out, the cocktails are solid enough here that I’m sure they would have all been well-balanced. Time Out’s pick was the Anchor Punch, a mix of Seven Tiki rum, apricot brandy, guava, lime, and ginger. The first pulpy sip delivered a bit of tropical sweetness from the guava, but that was quickly topped by some tart acidic bites from the lime and finally finished with a warming sensation of brown spices, which was created by the spiced rum itself. I can only imagine this drink would have worked just as well on a tropical island as it does in the bitter cold of New York’s winter. Too bad Manhattan isn’t tropical.
We also chose the Silver Sangaree, which was similarly listed under Nicely Spiced. It didn’t contain rum, but rather a combination of scotch, tawny port, cherry heering, lemon, allspice dram, nutmeg, and Malbec. Yes, red wine and scotch. Not two flavors I think of as working well together, but they got this one right. It opened with a buttery, peatiness from the scotch, finished with a tannic acidic bite from the Malbec and lemon and had just enough spice throughout. Egg whites were added for a pleasant frothy texture. It was an unexpected drink that was complex and unusual.
Like at all their other bars, Cienfuegos’ cocktails are roller coaster rides. These are strong, well-thought out concoctions that take you on a flavor adventure. I am grateful they offer them as a single portion because I’m not sure I have enough friends to experience the large punch bowl format. I guess for my next visit (there will be another), I’ll have to put out an evite on facebook.
Would Cienfuegos’ Anchor Punch make my Top 100 of the year? 8 out of 10 because besides making complex and flavorful cocktails, this places has a lively fun atmosphere that makes me want to spend more time and money here.
|92 Avenue A (between East 7th and East 6th Street)