A Fond Farewell

18 Jan

The Boiler Room has, in my opinion, the best craft cocktail bar in the city.

So yesterday, when I read on Facebook that last night was bartender Ian McCarthy’s last night, I knew a trip was in order.

The first words out of his mouth as I sat down at my table: “Ramos Gin Fizz?” Yes. Yes please, in fact.

A Ramos is my favorite cocktail in the world. It’s made from simple ingredients — lemon juice, sugar, gin — but it’s one of the most labor-intensive cocktails I’ve ever encountered. It requires a good 15 minutes of cocktail shaker shaking to create the finished product. I usually don’t request them, because though I love them, I feel sort of guilty ordering one. When I’m offered one, though, I’ll never turn it down. Ian’s Ramos is different from others I’ve had: he tops it with sparkling wine instead of soda. It’s a brilliant touch.

For my second drink, I told Ian to make whatever he wanted. He brought out one called, fittingly, “The Last Word.” I didn’t ask for ingredients, but it was lemony, herbaceous and just a touch medicinal: basically everything I love in a cocktail. And Ian does herb garnishes like no other.

The rest of my crowd tried drinks on the Boiler Room’s current cocktail list, an ever-changing group of vastly different cocktails. Below left, the Greenpoint. Right, the Aviation.

Chef Paul Kulik told me he’s interviewing potential bartenders, so look for an update on that soon. I rest assured that it will continue to be the most creative bar in the city.

Ian is headed to San Francisco. He will be missed, and we wish him success.

Thanks to Quentin for stepping in as my on-the-fly photographer.

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