Greenwich Village's Blue Hill is not a cocktail destination. Although Michelle Obama was reported to indulge in a martini or two when she went there with her husband on a date night, they, like many others, dine at Blue Hill for Chef Dan Barber's farm-to-table cuisine.
That said, you might want to take a look at the cocktail list the next time you go there. Peter Vasconcellos concocts seasonal libations that reflect Chef Barber's culinary philosophy and, as he says, "can hang with what's coming out of the kitchen." Although much of Blue Hill's bounty comes from its namesake farm at Stone Barns, it's much harder to find local ingredients on the cocktail front. (Vasconcellos dreams of the day when he can make a Manhattan cocktail using only ingredients from in and around Manhattan.) Until then, his short list contains drinks that use sustainable spirits or ingredients that have just hit the Greenmarkets.
As carrots are bountiful before the warm weather comes for good, his variation on a Dark and Stormy makes for a nice transition into spring. The carrot juice lends a touch of natural sweetness and a gorgeous bright orange color to this lively cocktail masquerading as a health drink—don't let it fool you.
Dark and Carrot-y
1.5 oz Rhum J.M. Gold
0.5 oz Taylor's Velvet Falernum
2.5 oz Carrot Juice/Orange Juice/Lime Juice/Ginger Syrup* (mixed together 3:1:1:1)
1/4 oz Gosling's Dark Rum
Shake Gold rum, juices, and falernum over ice. Double strain (using a Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer) into a Collins glass filled with ice. Pour the Gosling's atop the drink, over the back of a spoon, so that it floats on top.
* To make the ginger syrup, boil together fresh ginger with one part sugar to two parts water (Peter uses demerrara sugar), stirring, until sugar is dissolved; let cool.
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