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Amor y Amargo - A fun and energetic postage stamp sized house of bitters

Spiritchaser Apr 25, 2012 06:15 AM

Visited Amor y Amargo last week. Had no idea it would be so small but it was a lot of fun. Bartenders very eager to share their (considerable) knowledge of bitters and the thoughts that go into the drinks they make.

GF and I had 2 drinks each but we traded off so we got to try 4. We had:

Americano (on tap) - excellent and refreshing, low low alcohol content so it was a nice start

Classic Negroni - enough said, it was a CLASSIC Negroni made with outstanding house vermouth

Kingston Negroni - variation of a Negroni using rhum, skew a little too sweet for me but GF loved it

Scandi Gibson - in their own words, "like drinking rye bread" - this was my favorite drink out of the 4 and I will need to learn how to make it myself because it could be addictive. Even if the bar wasn't as cool as it is I would still go back for this drink, it was that good.

So go, get there early, get one of the few seats at the bar, chat a little, drink a little, learn something, then leave because you are in my seat....

  1. Silverjay Apr 25, 2012 04:20 PM

    Next time try the Alpine Afternoon. Even if it's not on the menu, they will make it for you. Great drink. Great bar... The guy who did the cocktail program at Rye in W'burg is involved here and there's also some crossover with the bartenders at Maison Premiere.

    16 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay
      Spiritchaser Apr 26, 2012 07:57 AM

      Thanks for the insight, I'll have to try it and I'll check out Rye.

      1. re: Spiritchaser
        kathryn Apr 26, 2012 09:15 AM

        Sother Teague, who is now at Amor y Amargo as well as Booker and Dax, used to be at Rye, but no longer.

        He left when the owner wanted the cocktail program to change in focus to beer/shots/highballs. This was in August. I'm not sure it's still worth a visit.

        1. re: kathryn
          Spiritchaser Apr 26, 2012 10:32 AM

          Oh, that makes a huge difference, thanks for the heads up Kathryn.

          1. re: Spiritchaser
            Silverjay Apr 26, 2012 10:50 AM

            Yes, but check out MP if you are into cocktails.

            1. re: Silverjay
              kathryn Apr 26, 2012 11:04 AM

              Maison Premiere does indeed have great cocktails. Happy hour ($1 oysters) is great but very, very popular. It's not a huge place and gets very crowded, especially since the back garden isn't ready yet right now.

              Right now, I really love their new Spring Pimm's Cup: Pimm's, Fresh Lime, Rhubarb Syrup, Celery Water, Orange, Cherry, Mint.

              1. re: kathryn
                ndukka562 Apr 26, 2012 11:06 AM

                How would you compare the cocktails at Dram to those at Maison Premiere?

                1. re: ndukka562
                  Silverjay Apr 26, 2012 11:25 AM

                  For MP, you really have to pick and choose your times to go because it's become a bit too popular for its' own good and can suffer from long waits for drinks or uncomfortable elbow to elbow conditions (no good for cocktails). I like the St. Helena, Frenchman's Roulette and a couple of classics that they have rotated off the printed menu- Veaux Carre and A La Louisiana. If it's mellow and one of the bartenders that I'm on terms with is around, I'll usually ask them to get creative....Dram is more of a neighborhood vibe. Cocktails are equally good, though not quite as historically inspired as MP.

                  1. re: Silverjay
                    ndukka562 Apr 26, 2012 12:25 PM

                    I've only been to Maison Premier once. It was a Sturday early afternoon and the place was fairly empty. I loved the oysters, the cocktails, the absinthe preparation, really everything. I could see how it being packed would take away a lot of the enjoyment.

                    On that note, I saw that they are having an event for the Kentucky Derby. I was intrigued but can only assume it will be equally chaotic as a Friday happy hour.

                  2. re: ndukka562
                    kathryn Apr 26, 2012 11:37 AM

                    They are both very good, but if you like doing "bartender's choice" and going off the menu, I'd choose Dram, simply because it's more chill and bigger and you can actually grab a bar stool. You can't always get a seat (let alone a bar seat) at MP.

                    1. re: kathryn
                      Silverjay Apr 26, 2012 11:45 AM

                      It just totally depends on timing and what kind of atomsphere you like. Dram can be an absolute zoo sometimes and very...uhh,..Williamsburg. Much worse than MP can be and there's no host or hostess to sort of handle traffic. I bounce between both these places. It's good that they are close to each other to have options if you are in the mood for well-crafted cocktails.

                      1. re: Silverjay
                        kathryn Apr 26, 2012 11:52 AM

                        I somehow have never been at Dram when it's packed.

                        Note: on a recent weekday, everybody at MP basically disappeared by 8pm (happy hour ends at 7pm).

                        1. re: kathryn
                          ndukka562 Apr 26, 2012 12:22 PM

                          Yea $1 oysters will bring in la gente.

                        2. re: Silverjay
                          ndukka562 Apr 26, 2012 12:25 PM

                          People who live in Billyburg are spoiled.

                    2. re: kathryn
                      Spiritchaser Apr 26, 2012 11:12 AM

                      Silverjay and Kathryn - it's going on "the list". Thanks for the recommendation.

                2. re: kathryn
                  Sneakeater Apr 26, 2012 11:56 AM

                  Kathryn --

                  Thanks for the info on where Sother's gone. He's great!

                  1. re: Sneakeater
                    kathryn Apr 26, 2012 12:23 PM

                    He's also at Prime Meats, too. Happy drinking!

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