The bartender at Fatty Crab names cocktails after movies and makes fun of the critics.
Adam, beverage director
643 Hudson Street, New York
Tell me about this drink.
This drink is called The Drewish Princess. It's a reference to the movie Spaceballs.
Is the Schwartz within this drink?
Tons and tons of Schwartz. It's kind of a riff on a couple of drinks. It's closest to a Corpse Reviver #2, which is a cognac version of this using a Cointreau in place of elderflower. It's a sparkling sweet-and-sour cocktail, essentially. It also has elements of a Vesper. So there you go, Princess Vespa of Spaceballs. Most people don't actually get the reference. Which to me is crazy to me, because the same way my mom made me watch Fiddler on the Roof, she made me watch Spaceballs.
What are the other fun drink names?
Sex always sells really well. The Foreplay cocktail always sells pretty well; it's a nice way to start off.
So why didn't you make me that one?
You said you didn't want a pink one!
Fair enough. What else is fun?
Creatures sell. We’ve a got a Chupacabra cocktail, and I bet if I put a Yeti on the menu it would sell. Geography sells super well. Pop culture sells. We had cocktail during the whole Charlie Sheen thing over at Fatty Johnson's called the Seven-Gram Rock. People loved it.
What do you send the pretty girl at the bar? You're not going to send her a Yeti.
The Drewish Princess. It's elegant, it's floral, and it has sparkling wine, which is kind of sexy. It's not a drink that says, "I want to get you all hammered." And it's a fun name — it's a conversation piece. She might laugh, or she might be like, "I hate that movie!" but it's a good starting-off point.
Is sending someone a drink cool or is it lame and old-fashioned?
I buy people drinks all the time. But not like that. Well, sometimes like that. But there's a tasteful way to do it and a non-tasteful way to do it.
What's the most non-tasteful way?
As the bartender, I think it's tacky to be like, "I want to buy you this drink." It should be unspoken. You don't have to say, "This one's on me." Let's talk about something else. Let's talk about politics.
So, once I saw John Hodgeman eating here.
We do get a lot of celebrities. We get Oliver Platt all the time.
Does he bring his brother, Plattypants?
I like Adam Platt. He's not going to sit there and flirt with you like Frank Bruni would, and he’s not going to drop Jay-Z quotes like Sam Sifton. He's very, "I'm going to order all this shit. I may ask a question about it, and I’m going to voice my opinion about it to the person sitting next to me." It's cool.
Can you make drinks based on personality?
Sure, that's the difference between bartenders who do it as a job as opposed to a passion. If I see someone looking at the menu for more than ten seconds, I immediately interject. Let's have a conversation about this.
What about people who are super set in their ways and just want their Long Island Iced Tea?
Your job in the hospitality industry is to be welcoming, and to size up a guest in a second. Sometimes, someone orders Maker's Mark. I say, "Sure, here's your Maker's Mark. But also, here's a shot of Eagle Rare on the side," which is something I find pretty comparable. And the next time they come in, you've built a rapport.
That is very cool. I need to come here all the time. So you don't have anything against making a Cosmo or an Appletini?
I make a Cosmo. I make an Appletini. There are certain things I can't do — like someone will come in and ask for an Orange Stoli and soda, and we don't have Orange Stoli. But I have a ton of fresh orange peel, I have orange bitters, I have fresh simple syrup — how about I make you my version of that drink and if you don't like it, you don't have to pay for it.
What's a great drink to have on a first date?
I like spicy. I like tequila. Tequila makes me naked. And spicy is fun. It gets people all tingly.
So start with the naked drinks? Don't ease into it?
You know, people always say they would never come to Fatty Crab on a first date 'cause it's so messy. But listen, man, if you can't drink a spicy cocktail, and you can't get dirty in front of this person — well, there goes a third of your relationship.
What can someone order that will impress you, as a bartender?
My favorite drink of all time is a Sazerac. It's aesthetically the same thing as a Manhattan and an Old-Fashioned. It's boozy, it's sweet, it has bitters, it has an aroma. There’s lemon zest on the nose but it tastes like something else — and it only uses four ingredients. If you can nail that, you're doing your job well.
The Drewish Princess
.75 St germain
.75 lillet rouge
.75 lemon juice
Rinse a 5.5 oz coupe with absinthe. Combine above four ingredients in a mixing tin and shake well. Double-strain mixture into the coupe. Top with chilled Prosecco and garnish with a skewered brandied cherry.