When most of us sit down at the bar, we usually have two things in mind: a drink and a brief but much needed escape from the stresses of daily life. More often than not, we are so focused on this mission that we overlook our surroundings. But if we studied the shelves of liquor we’d likely find the most curious of items: an old trinket; a hand-drawn octopus; a bottle or two that seem strangely out of place or out of time; a scribbled upon note of foreign currency; a random, dusty can of spam; and so on. BARTIFACTS looks to trace the origins of these artifacts, one bar at a time. See something you want to know the story of? Let us know in the comments and we’ll try to track it down.
I was enjoying a lunch at Juke Fried Chicken in Chinatown the other day when I noticed four large, tapped, awesome-looking cut-glass vessels on a shelf behind the bar. These were installed earlier this Spring and I’d yet to notice them among the doomsday supply of stock that has always crowded their backbar. Anyway, I was happy to learn that they each contain a certain pre-batched drink.
Moving from left to right (using the photo above as a guide), the selections are as follows: classic Negroni (gin, Campari, Italian vermouth); a rotating wild card (currently “Starboy” — gin, aperol, yuzu, Chinese Happy Wine and orange); a seasonal boozy sangria (wine, fruit, etc.); and a readymade version of an Old Fashioned made with Wild Turkey and housemade bitters.
I’m so seldom in Juke in the evenings so I all too often forget just how good their cocktail game is. Needless to say, this front and centre display was a great reminder. Having the drinks come fast is always desirable in any kind of establishment, but this is especially true in a quick-service spot like this. Take a closer look the next time you’re in. Better yet, take a sip!