Pouring Ribbons is the home of Alchemy Consulting – Toby Maloney, Joaquín Simó (Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Bartender of the Year), Troy Sidle (Violet Hour), and Jason Cott. With this strong backing, its no wonder I had to check out what could (did) turn out to be one of the best cocktail bars to open in NYC.
It sits atop a liquor store (ironic or fitting? you decide) on Ave B.
The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. It’s a nice change to be able to walk into a cocktail haven and be able to see where you are going and read the menu without holding it by a candle or breaking out the phone light. Its not dark and brooding but rather light and airy. There are a range of seating options, including: seating at the bar, high tables near the bar, and then a range of 2 person to group seats toward the front.
I firmly believe that the tone for a restaurant/bar is set by the first person you meet. Pouring Ribbons clearly sets the right tone; from the welcoming doorman, to the courteous host, and our bartender for the evening, Troy Sidle. We did not have any complaints and were more than satisfied with the service.
The Menu is broken up into 4 drink sections: House Cocktails, Classics, House “Mocktails”/Sodas, and Chartreuse Tasting. Beneath each drink are two sliding scales: refreshing to spiritous and comforting to adventurous. The drinks are also plotted on a graph in the front of the menu in case you want to take a journey on a particular axis.
3 cocktails you must try: The Deuling Banjos, One Flight Up, and Hagar & Helga. The Deuling Banjos is a delicious and refreshing long drink. The nose of orange and mint is alluring. But the “secret” to this drink is a Corn Milk Syrup. It may sound odd but it has this wonderful milky consistency. One Flight Up is a 2 part drink. In the bottom is a mix of Campari and Soda, on top of which is poured a shake of egg white, lemon, Dolin blanc, and Encanto pisco, and orange flower water. The drink slowly changes over time as the 2 parts slowly mix together. It completely changes again if the drink is stirred together. This easily could have been one of my favorite cocktails of the night. What I really like about this drink is the guest participation in how you can affect the flavor of your cocktail. Lastly is the Hagar and Helga which is a mix of Linie Aquavit, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Cumin Syrup, Cinnamon Bitters, stirred and poured over a brandied (? forgot to ask) cherry. It may sound weird and intimidating on paper but it is truly sublime.
Near the back of the menu there is a selection of several non-alcoholic drinks. While we did not sample them during our time there, many of them sounded good. I think that this is a nice option for those who do not drink, allowing them to see that their drinks receive the same care and attention. I will have to check them out on my next visit.
They also have a vast range of vintage chartreuse, both yellow and green, that you can taste in .5 oz increments. By doing this you can compare the different flavor profiles from various years.
We only had the beef jerk and the S’mores and both were fresh and delicious. However here is where my my only complaint/issue with Pouring Ribbons lies. Now don’t get me wrong the food is delicious but the portions to price ratio is a little steep. For example the s’mores that they offer for $7 is approximately the size of a standard Almond Joy. The s’mores where great and we savored every bite but I could use at least one or two more on the plate.
Pouring Ribbons is one of the best bars to come about in a long time. It has the feel of your favorite local bar with perfectly executed cocktails. The service is warm and inviting. I will be back.
225 Ave B 2nd Fl
NY, NY, 10009