Drink This Cocktail: The Panda Poacher

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A pretty pink drink from the bartender at Macao Trading Co.

Igor, co-owner and bartender

Macao Trading Company
311 Church Street

You're a co-owner of Macao Trading Co. and Employees Only. Which one do you like better?
Macao is a newer child, so it needs more pampering and media exposure. Asking any parent which child they like better is tough, but Macao is the favorite child of the moment.

Fair enough. Tell me about this drink.
This is the Panda Poacher #2, it has lemon juice, yellow chartreuse, and Zubrowka, which is a Polish bison-grass vodka. It's also garnished with Bison grass. 

Grass! So useful to have around the house! Why is this the one drink everyone should be drinking this weekend?
It's a perfect summer cocktail. I'm a big fan of Zubrowka — it has an almost nutty flavor to it. It has sparkling cider, a little bubbles are nice to go with the fireworks. 

Well, this is delicious. If you saw a pretty girl at the bar, what would you send her?
This one! A hundred percent, without thinking. 

Because it's pink and fun?
Uh-huh. [laughs] It has girl written all over it. 

What if a woman saw a hot guy and wanted to send him a drink?
Probably a Manhattan. It's a classic. I wouldn't send this one over to a guy. I wouldn't send him a pink drink. 

What do people order on dates that you can tell are going really well?
Usually after the second round they order a tequila shot. 

Oh really! 
There's an electricity in the air — some kind of friction. 

If you're playing angel-bartender and you see a date doing really well, what drink would you send over to help close the deal?
Fernet Branca. It's an Italian digestif. It's pretty much every bartender's favorite. It's a Jagermeister for grown-ups. It has a bitter after-taste.

What about when things are going badly?
They ask for separate checks. That's the worst-case scenario.

Ouch. Do you see that happen a lot?
Yeah, sometimes. There's no going Dutch on a date. 

Has there been drink-throwing?
Oh shit! Yeah. Into a bartender's face. She was just drunk. She got the boot. 

What's the kind of drink that people should be embarrassed to order?
Long Island Iced Tea. 

Everybody says that! What's the best drink to order if you want to get laid?
Holy shit, to get laid? [laughs] A gin martini. It gets you in the zone right away, instantly. It gets you in the state of mind. It's like a highway to… the rooftops. 

What's the one drink someone can order that will really impress you?
A Hemingway daiquiri. It's my favorite, and used to be kind of hidden and unknown.  

Has anyone ever tried to pick you up?
Of course they have. It's a bar! 

What did they do?
They would buy me a shot, try to get me liquored up. Which is mission impossible, I'm sorry. I've built it up  — I've worked a long time for it. 

I have a truck driver's tolerance as well. 
You do?

Too bad for your dates. They better take you somewhere cheap!

Panda Poacher #2

.5oz lemon juice
.5oz prickley pear puree
.5oz yellow chartreuse
1.5oz Zubrowka
1oz apple cider (non-alcoholic)
garnish with bison grass

Pour the lemon juice, pear puree, yellow chartreuse and Zubrowka over ice, and then shake. Top with apple cider and garnish with bison grass.