Unlike other Manhattan neighborhoods, Midtown wasn’t made for meandering. Personally, if I do have to walk through the area, I’m usually focused on elbowing my way through throngs of tourists to reach my destination. Recently, though, to my pleasant surprise, I was introduced to a hidden gem of sorts amidst the chaos.
Though dangerously close (in my opinion) to Times Square, Lantern’s Keep at the Iroquois New York hotel is a cocktail bar on par with speakeasy-inspired establishments typically found below 14th Street. After looking over the extensive menu categorized by drink style (shaken, stirred, over ice, etc.), I decided to opt for the last item listed: “Bartender’s choice.”
After asking my preferences (gin or tequila, light, fruity, not too sweet) the bartender nailed it with the Almond Blossom Royale, a delicious blend of strawberries, Pisco and a hint of almond which somehow avoids being overly sugary.
“During the warmer months in New York City, champagne consumption is a must, Lantern’s Keep bar manager Daniel Rutkowski explained of the choice. “In the Almond Blossom Royale we combine fresh berries and crisp bubbles with aged Chilean Pisco and our housemade almond syrup to create a fruity and nutty libation perfect for the dog days of summer,”
ALMOND BLOSSOM ROYALE
1 oz. Chilean Pisco
1/2 oz. Fresh lemon juice
3/8 oz. Orgeat
4 Strawberry slices
Pinch of salt
Champagne or dry sparkling wine
Muddle strawberries. Shake all ingredients except for champagne. Strain into coupe and top with champagne. Garnish with a strawberry.
Photos by Natasha Shumny.