There may be no more comfortable spot in Brooklyn than The JakeWalk on a chilly winter's night. The candlelight flickers all around, whether you sit at the wood bar, facing the gorgeous, enormous gilded mirror, or at one of the smaller tables alongside. As the snow falls outside, you can warm yourself with one of their fondues and revel in the joy of gooey cheese. They offer a traditional Alpine fondue as well as a Blue Cheese-based fondue and a Cheddar and Beer blend, with many of the cheeses coming from Stinky Bklyn across the street. For those with a sweet tooth, there's also a chocolate version.
The name "JakeWalk" comes from a particular Prohibition-era affliction, suffered by those who drank Jamaica Ginger. Sold by bootleggers trying to get around the Prohibition laws, the alcohol-based medicine turned out to be contaminated with neurotoxins, which made people walk with an awkward, straight-legged gait.
As a nod to its name, The JakeWalk offers spirits galore. They invite you to sample wines and spirits in flights, which is a wonderful and affordable way to get to know your own palate—tasting four rye whiskeys next to each other lets you notice the subtleties of each and the differences among them.
The JakeWalk's cocktail menu changes from time to time, and The River is a new addition. The Applejack makes for a pleasant wintery base, blended with slightly herbal notes from the Dolin Blanc Vermouth and Benedictine. Although these may not be ingredients you have around the house, they are not hard to find, and together they create an elegant winter cocktail.
1 1/2 ounces Laird's Bonded Applejack 3/4 ounce Dolin Blanc Vermouth 1/2 ounce Benedictine 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a fan of Granny Smith apples.