Love & Sex

Drink This Cocktail: The Violet Hour

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A scotch and blueberry concoction from the bartenders at Apotheke.

Nic, head mixologist

Apotheke
9 Doyers Street, New York

So what's in this summery-tasting delight?
This is done with fresh blueberries, a house-made elderflower syrup, house sour mix which is three different types of sugar and fresh lime, all boiled down and mixed together, and with a Bowmore twelve-year, which is a peaty, smoky scotch. It's topped with a Sea Dog blueberry ale. It's a seasonal summer ale from Maine. 

So why is this the perfect summer drink?
For me, when I taste cocktails, I like to taste my alcohol. But that said, and with the heat we have now, you need something refreshing and cool that combines all the different elements: the scotch, the peatyness, a little bit of the beer. It's served up on ice, so it's a cooler, blueberry-lemonade kind of feel, but you still know the alcohol is there. 

What's the perfect you would send over to a pretty girl?
I would use something a little more herbal. Something with maybe cucumbers, mint, vodka, something a little lighter, something a little easier to put back. Especially if I wanted to impress her. 

So you wouldn't send her a Long Island Ice Tea. 
No, no, no. When people come into the bar and order a Long Island, we check their I.Ds. And then we actually decline to make it. 

There are drinks you refuse to make?
Yeah, I mean we're a specialty bar. We have limited capacity, and you can get a Long Island anywhere in the city. There are actually about ten drinks on our hot list that we won't make. 

You have to tell me what the other ones are. 
We have no cranberry juice, so we can't make a Cosmo. We don't have olives, so we don't do straight-up dirty martinis. We don't do Mai-Tais, and we have no energy drinks whatsoever. So no vodka Redbull, nothing like that. But other than that, we can do over 250 cocktails we can make. 

Okay, fastball: I want something with champagne and tequila. Make it happen. 
Right away I would suggest, to balance out the strength of tequila, you would want something citric. I love passionfruit; it goes so well with tequila and with champagne. Then I'd balance it with something more herbal. A sage wouldn't get lost with the tequila, maybe a little ginger on the back end. But if you hated any of those things, we'd work together to make it happen. 

That sounds awesome. Did I give you an easy one? 
That drink is new, but it's not that out of the realm. We have one cocktail with passionfruit, tequila, champagne, and a little bit of mezcal, which is like the brother of tequila. It has a really smoky taste to it, which I love. 

This place is very romantic, and with limited capacity it's a great spot for dates. Is there any drink that's a red flag, or alternatively a drink order that tells you the date is going well?
Oh, the Dealcloser. It's done with a fresh Chinatown aphrodisiac tea. We take three or four different local herbs and brew a fresh tea from that, and mix it with vodka. It's supposed to loosen up the mood. Pace yourself though, because they catch up with you. After a couple of those…

The deal is closed. 
Exactly.