A couple of years ago my wife Mardee and I went on a safari. No, we didn’t travel to the Dark Continent to shoot wild beasts, either with rifles or cameras we went on a cocktail safari, led by the fearless cocktail hunter himself, Dale DeGroff. Dale, the man who put the cocktail bar at New York’s Rainbow Room on the map, and one of, if not the, father of the American cocktail revolution, took us, and about 20 other intrepid cocktailians, around some very interesting bars in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City, sipping drinks and munching appetizers at each spot. It was quite a night.
We started off at Layla, a Drew Nieporent/Myriad Restaurants Moroccan restaurant on West Broadway, sipping Moroccan Margaritas (made with pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses), and more of their specialty drinks, before heading to Grace, just around the corner, for more spectacular drinks. Are you counting? We’d had five drinks at this point, and the safari was just getting started.
Believe it or not, though, Mardee and I were on our best behavior that night, at least we were during the early part, so although we took a sip from each and every glass that was offered to us, and perhaps two sips from a couple of them, more than that didn’t pass our lips. From Grace we walked over to Pico, a Portuguese joint where mad scientist bartender Eben Klem, who now heads up the cocktail department for the B. R. Guest restaurant group, wowed us with four different drinks (that’s nine altogether), the most incredible of which was something he called the Cujo, made with cacha