Theoretically, there could an infinite amount of outcomes for a night. This is a thought that pervades my every night, pushing me to explore all the different manifestations of a night. When my cocktail mentor and dear friend Jeff Vitkun asked me to participate in a Bushwick Mixer tasting spree, I was enthused at the idea that my night had one and only outcome: getting black out drunk. We walked into the Johnson’s. We tasted a couple of cocktails, and then Jeff or Gustavo pointed out at the idea of tasting the Moscow Mule With A Deadly Kick. I was hesitant at first; Moscow Mules do not exactly excite me. But after a couple at The Johnson’s my memory was definitely served a deadly kick.
The Moscow Mule at The Johnson’s shook my night up.
This Moscow Mule got the bartender, Chris Werkmeister, excited. All the ingredients used in the Moscow Mule With A Deadly Kick are fresh, as he told me, even the limes, despite the lime shortage. The main ingredient for this Moscow Mule is Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which has been the latest craze in the vodka category. Fresh lime juice is added with mint and topped off with Krabbie’s ginger, which, according to Chris, is the best ginger beer. The drink is tossed back and forth, and the result is a Moscow Mule that can easily accompany the hot days of the summer to come, along with the great swing chairs in the front area of The Johnson’s.
The author, enjoying the seating options in the front area of The Johnson’s.
The table was filled with drinks. We had tasted three. Jeff and I were deliberating over which drink I will write about. “This makes for a bad review, this is an interesting cocktail, and this one makes for a good story,” said Jeff, in his infinite wisdom. I may have not focused so much on the tasting profile of the drink, because it’s a drink that doesn’t need much gustatory introspection. It’s a drink that ensures that this is going to be good night; one that you don’t remember much but is still unforgettable.
Three friends were in the Chatham bar, one John A. Morgan, known as Jack, president of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products and owner of the Hollywood Cock ‘n’ Bull Restaurant; one was John G. Martin, president of G.F. Heublein Brothers Inc. of Hartford, Conn., and the third was Rudolph Kunett, president of the Pierre Smirnoff, Heublein’s vodka division. As Jack Morgan tells it, “We three were quaffing a slug, nibbling an hors d’oeuvre and shoving toward inventive genius”. Martin and Kunett had their minds on their vodka and wondered what would happen if a two-ounce shot joined with Morgan’s ginger beer and the squeeze of a lemon. Ice was ordered, lemons procured, mugs ushered in and the concoction put together. Cups were raised, the men counted five and down went the first taste. It was good. It lifted the spirit to adventure. Four or five later the mixture was christened the Moscow Mule…
New York Herald Tribune
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.
The Moscow Mule With A Deadly Kick is served at the Johnson’s, 369 Troutman St for $10.