New York City is a more than just a concrete jungle, it’s the worlds’ greatest symbol of freedom.
Back in the 1920’s however, prohibition challenged an essential fragment of what the Big Apple represents. By eliminating the ability to manufacture, sell, and transport alcoholic beverages, not just New Yorkers, but all Americans were stripped of a basic way they made meaningful connections.
Looking at the big picture, the alcohol ban’s footprint was relatively minimal. The frowned upon legislation came to a halt with an appeal in 1933, allowing many major cities to open distilleries throughout the States. But Manhattan was an exception, for it didn’t get to see one of its own for almost an entire century.
The drawn-out hiatus came to an end in 2018 with the Grand Opening of Our/New York, the first legal distillery and bar in Manhattan since Prohibition. Located at 151 West 26th Street in the heart of Manhattan, the micro-distillery embodies the resilient spirit of New York City and its people. The welcoming central-Chelsea joint is easily accessible as you wander from landmark to landmark down the bustling avenues.
Inside, a copper handmade still showcased in the décor adds a comforting element, opening the floor for genuine interaction among visitors. The New York inspired wallpaper and art illustrated by local artists breathes the New York vibe into the bar. It truly is the “Our New York” establishment.
Our/New York is a branch of Our/Vodka, a global company that erects micro-distilleries in select cities, and relies on passion-driven, local partners to produce and sell their vodka. For the New York location, the brand sought out born and raised New Yorker, Dave Ortiz. With a background deeply rooted in the city’s culture, he was the ideal candidate to collaborate with on the project.
The bar’s founding partner is a New York-based artist of Puerto Rican descent that has been a fixture in the city’s skate scene for decades. Ortiz was the first employee of Zoo York, before moving on to open Dave’s Quality Meats in 2003, which connected sneakers, skateboarding, and hip-hop through the lens of streetwear.
Expressing the pride he has for his place, Ortiz shares, “Our/ New York is a living history! To be a part of Our/New York is a palpable joy for me. Creating connections with people through tastings of the spirits made in the same space you are drinking them, using our experience with flavor profiles to create unique and special cocktails, and being a part of a team that is stepping into a piece of modern history, is invaluable and so very New York.”
The drink menu consists of recipes made to be simple, delicious, and unique to the bar. Ortiz elaborates, “Through our cocktails, we hope to capture New York and its landmarks, which is why many of our cocktails are named after Our/City! New York is a place of all backgrounds, styles, and tastes, which is why in our menu we want to capture different taste notes, drink options, and offer unique-to-the-bar drinks!”
- 1 1/2 oz Our/New York Vodka
- 1/2 oz Chamomile Syrup
- 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
- 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
Preparation: Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake and double strain into your favorite glass. Top with dry sparkling wine and garnish with a pineapple slice.
The Allez Les Rouges (“Go Red”)
- 3/4 oz Our/New York Vodka
- 1/4 oz Crème de Cassis
- 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
- 1 bar spoon Ricard
Preparation: Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with a few raspberries. Add ice, shake and double strain into a glass. Top with sparkling rosé and garnish with a lime wheel.