Nordester · Variety Bar at The Comedy Studio

Alexis Jesup
By Eric Twardzik · 05/24/2019

Here’s one assumption we feel comfortable making: You’ve never visited a comedy club for the drinks. But that might change thanks to Variety Bar, a cocktail oasis nestled within The Comedy Studio at Bow Market.

“You go to [comedy] clubs and they don’t care about the drinks,” says general manager Sasha Go. “We really appreciate good cocktails and where they come from—same as the quality of the comedy we’re putting on stage.”

One such cocktail is the Nordester, which combines spiced rum with fruit juices, cinnamon simple syrup, and house-made pomegranate grenadine. The effect is something like a tiki-fied Dark and Stormy: There’s a familiar pairing of spiced rum and lime juice, but the addition of grapefruit and pomegranate takes things in a more tropical direction while rich cinnamon syrup plays off the rum’s spice.

Completing the mood is a handful of garnishes straight from Tiki 101, including pineapple leaves and pansies (yes, you can eat them).

The drink owes its idiosyncratic title to Variety Bar’s unique naming process. Following the bar’s crowdfunding campaign, donors of a certain level were able to name a drink. “All of these [drinks] are named for the people,” says lead bartender Julia Corsetti.

Here’s to the Nordester’s benefactor, whoever that happens to be.

2 ounces Lemon Hart & Son Blackpool Spiced Rum

¾ ounce grapefruit juice
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce cinnamon simple syrup*
½ ounce grenadine**
Pineapple leaves and pansies, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnishes to a shaker with crushed ice and shake until chilled. Pour into a bamboo glass, tiki mug, or highball glass without straining. Garnish with pineapple leaves and pansies.

*Cinnamon Simple Syrup (yields about 2 cups)
2 cups sugar

2 cups water
5 cinnamon sticks

Add cinnamon sticks to a pan on low heat and toast until aromatic, then crush sticks in the pan using a muddler. Add water and sugar and heat until mixtures reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool, then pour into a sealed container. Allow mixture to sit overnight in refrigerator before straining. Keeps about 2 weeks, refrigerated.

**Grenadine (yields about 2 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 cup POM juice
1 ounce pomegranate molasses
½ teaspoon orange blossom water

Add ingredients to a pan on low heat, stirring to combine until mixture reaches a simmer. Strain into a sealed container and refrigerate. Keeps about 2 weeks, refrigerated.

Brian Samuels

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