Four years ago Brendan Dorr of B&O American Brasserie and Corey Poyloka of the Woodberry Kitchen group created the Forgotten Cocktail Club, a very occasional pop-up event featuring old-school cocktails that you won't find on bar menus around the city. The concept was intended to help the bar community grow and test the market for what people are interested in. When Poyloka was unable to continue with the pop-up cocktail club, Dorr partnered with Jon Blair, who Dorr describes as a fantastic bartender in addition to being a local distiller of Sloop Betty Vodka from Blackwater Distillery. (Disclosure: Dorr is engaged to City Paper contributor Alexandra Eisler)
The last event was back in January, where era-appropriate jazz and blues was played to the backdrop of a slideshow featuring images of speakeasies, saloons, and Prohibition times. 1920s and '30s attire is not a must, but it's always welcome. After a five-month hiatus (and a one-week postponement, thanks to the curfew last week), Forgotten Cocktail Club will make its return tonight at Maisy's at 8 p.m.
So what are these forgotten cocktails? When we spoke to Dorr back in January about the club, he gave an example: "A cocktail we like to feature in winter months is the classic Blue Blazer, a cocktail created by the godfather of the cocktail, Jerry Thomas."
Blue Blazer sounds pretty low-key, and it was created in the 1800s, so how exciting can it be?
"It's a cocktail consisting of scotch and boiling water, which we ignite and pour while on fire between two metal tankards," Dorr said. OK, fire is a hell of a show-stopper at a cocktail event.
In addition to these classics, Dorr and Blair feature some of their contemporary cocktails as well as variations on vintage cocktails.
"We enjoy using absinthe in cocktails quite a bit," Dorr said. "One favorite we've offered a few times is a cocktail Jon created called the Absinthe Smash, with Thai basil, lemongrass syrup, absinthe, sparkling brut, and a port-soaked star anise pod. It's delicious."