Blacktail isn’t afraid of cocktail snobs: Review

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Come one come all, cocktail snobs — Blacktail at Pier A in the Financial District has your perfect drink in its decadent, hardcover book of a menu.

Tucked away on the second floor of the Harbor House at 22 Battery Place, this retro-themed cocktail lounge offers an extensive list of creative drinks and an honest atmosphere that takes patrons back to Cuban during the American Prohibition.

On a Thursday evening around 11 p.m., the live band was finishing up a set of jazz from the roaring twenties. Ladies behind the bar had their hair wrapped up in pretty scarves, men sported fedoras and short-sleeved button-ups. The walls were covered inch by inch with fabulous paintings, colorful and vivacious war art and prohibition-style wall decor.

I was handed a hardcover book, the cocktail menu, made up of five styles of drinks. Each chapter described the presentation and flavor of a collection of drinks, each with its own unique character. I opted for the Whizz Kid, $16, under the Old Fashioned category. Maggie meticulously measured the ingredients (bourbon, cognac, cachaca, amaro, vanilla and cherry bitters) and gently stirred them in the mixer. This was the perfect cocktail.

I decided to be festive and try the Baccarat, a $16, holiday-esque combo of brandy, applejack, Jamaican rum, curaçao, port, banana, Guinness syrup, egg and nutmeg. Just as sweet and warming as expected, this cocktail was a Christmas treat. I was instantly transported to a cozy fireplace, wrapped up in fleece blanket and listening to the sounds of jingle bells nearby.

Blacktail is a bar I definitely plan on revisiting, especially to impress some of my cocktail-loving friends. The possibilities are endless with the enormous variety of ingredients available, so if somehow you are able to try each and every of the fifty-something cocktails on the list, the bartenders can still whip you up something special.

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