Food, The Americas
The Drunken Munkey NYC: British Indian Cocktails
By Nicole Taylor
I live in Brooklyn and traveling outside of Manhattan’s largest borough is sometimes like going through customs at the airport. The birthplace of rapper Notorious B.I.G has a slew of water-holes fit for a king but nothing beats an excuse for an uptown jaunt—The Drunken Munkey NYC .
Located in the Upper Eastside neighborhood, The Drunken Munkey is a “craft cocktail bar with a playful throwback to the time of British rule in India and a tribute to famous cafes and bistros of Old Bombay.” The leather door pulls and elephant coat hooks set the tone for serious Anglo-Indian exploration. Silver-hammered water pitchers and a colossal collection of barware, added luxury to my visit. After noshing on perfectly cooked tiger prawns, I lift my vintage glass and am ready for the libations.
Like the storied details in decor, the beverage menu is well put together. Slowly, I begin the journey with an East India Cocktail (D’usse VSOP Cognac, Combier, pineapple syrup, Luxardo and Peychaud’s bitters), followed by the Queens Park Swizzle—classic. Then, I channel my bossy side and order Old Munk rum on the rocks. The Antiquity Rare, Amrut Fusion and Royal Challenge are all situated above the stone-topped bar and give new meaning to the term dark liquor fuglemen.
Too bad this wasn’t a girls weekend get-a-way, I’d have ordered the Paanch’ of the week, “a rotating combination of the essential five ingredients, served in a crystal bowl for up to eight, as a traditional toast to friendship.” Let me gather up my court and make plans for a holiday!
American South native Nicole A. Taylor has been an artisan candy maker, an activist, and a social media maven, and currently hosts Hot Grease, a progressive food culture podcast and is the principal of NAT Media. Nicole is a frequent panelist at NYC events and has been quoted on CNN.com. She has contributed to Cherry Bombe, Amtrak, Southern Foodways Alliance and her recipes are featured on Colorlines, Design*Sponge and in the America I Am: Pass it Down Cookbook and The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table cookbook.