Bushwick Mixer: Laura Palmer from Cafe Ghia


There are certain components that have to come together to make a good David Lynch piece. Tasting the Laura Palmer cocktail at Cafe Ghia this week transported me to David Lynch’s world of Twin Peaks, by matching the elements of his aesthetics with the ingredients of the drink.

All photos by Gustavo Ponce for Bushwick Daily

At first there is the crime that sets everything off. In this drink, the perpetrator is the Death’s Door Vodka, produced in Wisconsin. What follows is the insanity of the situation or of the character – the house-made ginger puree takes that place with its spicy and distinct taste creeping in the drink. It’s that wild side, the part of a person that you wish you had never encountered. However much insanity or crime there may be, Lynch’s characters always have a soft side. (That’s why there is always a place for Kyle MacLachlan in a David Lynch movie.) In the Laura Palmer drink, the soft side is represented by honey, which softens the criminality of Death’s Door Vodka and the insanity of the ginger. Lastly, the lemon surrounds and accentuates the flavors in the same way that a soundtrack accentuates every David Lynch visual. The cherry lies like a drop of blood in the ocean of possible outcomes for every character in the small town of Twin Peaks.


Upon my first encounter with the Laura Palmer I thought that it was a twist on the classic American beverage, the Arnold Palmer. Phoebe Waterson, the creator of the drink, said in an email that it started as a variation on that classic, with the ginger taking the place of the iced tea. Scott, one of the owners of Cafe Ghia, has an obsession with Twin Peaks, and the Laura Palmer was created. “We then chose to use Death’s Door vodka and garnish with a cherry because we love puns at Cafe Ghia,” said Phoebe in her email.


The Laura Palmer is what a good David Lynch movie tastes like: criminal and spicy, sweet with a harrowing motif. Even his object obsession is part of the drink with a cherry as a garnish.


Bushwick Mixer is a weekly column somewhere at the crossroads of pop culture and mixology in the bars of Bushwick. Hashtag your photos of Bushwick cocktails with #BushwickMixer and let us know why they should be tasted by the author of the column. 

Laura Palmer is served at Cafe Ghia, 24 Irving Avenue for $9.  

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