MANHATTAN CRICKET CLUB
Bed My Elbow Indeed! Cocktail Alchemist Greg Seider invites us to imbibe in classic, clubby style at posh Upper West Side Hideaway Tucked away like a speakeasy hiding from the law, Manhattan Cricket Club is amost delicious discovery on the Upper West Side. Greg Seider holds court here, a Royal among mixologists, indeed when it comes to cocktail alchemy it’s hard to find anyone better at the game. The space with its warm coppery ceiling and plush retro-Brit atmosphere is an escape to the posh Victorian cricket clubs with a heritage just a tad a decade or two – before the turn of the century. The idea is to enter, say Seider, “and leave everything else by the wayside.” Escapism here becomes the perfect fantasy of luxe cricket clubs – crisp green and white environs posted in Australia and Thailand. Once besides the bar at this Cricket lounge, enabled by cocktails that exceed pure perfection, it’s easy to be engaged in the extraordinary mixology that takes its cue from such a sporting life.
A Bourbon spin on the Negroni yet originally created when Cricket first earned popularity (1870s) this cocktail is named for the man about town, a gentleman who’d spend afternoons parading the Parisian boulevards. It’s, says Greg Seider, “sexy” for its play of bitter orange against sweet, smooth Knob Creek Rye Whiskey.
BEND MY ELBOW
Greg Seider like any magician has a secret up his sleeve. Though Bend My Elbow is bursting with sunny fruity essence, Seider escapes the messiness of fresh fruit, mixing instead strawberry hibiscus tea (handcrafted by a colleague in Chicago) with No. 3 London Dry Gin an uplifting spirit praised for its bright, fresh citrus zing – a cocktail made even zingier with fresh lemon, grapefruit bitters and a splash of club soda.
SMOKED CINNAMON OLD FASHIONED
Smoked cinnamon – a nod to the spice trade flourishing in Cricket’s early years –enriches the traditional cocktail never imbibed with more style than Greg Seider’s easy elan. As ruggedly-featured as Daniel Craig, we note the comparison to 007. “I am going to rebrand myself as James Bond,” Seider says with wistful humor. Why? We can’t help but ask? “Because he – without fail – has the right answer at the right time and always has the right woman on his arm. And yes, he is never without the perfect drink in his hand.” And so before our eyes, Greg Seider morphs into the sexiest spy of all time.
In an ownership role, Greg Seider presides over the bar at Manhattan Cricket Club located at 226 West 79th on arrival as the canopy below says Burke & Wills. A beautiful barmaid may greet you and escort you to the glowing golden hideaway upstairs; it’s well worth the extra steps. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday, 6:00 pm until 2:00 am. Phone: 646-823-9252. Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam. Don’t be deterred
ALCHEMY IN A GLASS: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO HANDCRAFTED COCKTAILS
Greg Seider’s new book due out this spring from RIZZOLI, wittily reveals his journey starting at the ripe old age of ten into the world of cocktail creation. Sensual and evocative elements prevail as supertaster Seider builds each drink from a “blueprint,” a behind the scenes balancing act measuring flavor against flavor until complete satisfaction is achieved. Superb photography and chatty anecdotes reveal the back story behind cocktails – some classics; some sure to be new favorites, in this entertaining must have volume for those who’ll find fascination with the history of handcrafted cocktails. Available from www.Amazon.com.