Register Now!

Drink This Cocktail: The Violet Hour

A scotch and blueberry concoction from the bartenders at Apotheke.

By Danielle Gibson

Nic, head mixologist

9 Doyers Street, New York

So what's in this summery-tasting delight?
This is done with fresh blueberries, a house-made elderflower syrup, house sour mix which is three different types of sugar and fresh lime, all boiled down and mixed together, and with a Bowmore twelve-year, which is a peaty, smoky scotch. It's topped with a Sea Dog blueberry ale. It's a seasonal summer ale from Maine. 

So why is this the perfect summer drink?
For me, when I taste cocktails, I like to taste my alcohol. But that said, and with the heat we have now, you need something refreshing and cool that combines all the different elements: the scotch, the peatyness, a little bit of the beer. It's served up on ice, so it's a cooler, blueberry-lemonade kind of feel, but you still know the alcohol is there. 

What's the perfect you would send over to a pretty girl?
I would use something a little more herbal. Something with maybe cucumbers, mint, vodka, something a little lighter, something a little easier to put back. Especially if I wanted to impress her. 

So you wouldn't send her a Long Island Ice Tea. 
No, no, no. When people come into the bar and order a Long Island, we check their I.Ds. And then we actually decline to make it. 

There are drinks you refuse to make?
Yeah, I mean we're a specialty bar. We have limited capacity, and you can get a Long Island anywhere in the city. There are actually about ten drinks on our hot list that we won't make. 

You have to tell me what the other ones are. 
We have no cranberry juice, so we can't make a Cosmo. We don't have olives, so we don't do straight-up dirty martinis. We don't do Mai-Tais, and we have no energy drinks whatsoever. So no vodka Redbull, nothing like that. But other than that, we can do over 250 cocktails we can make. 

Okay, fastball: I want something with champagne and tequila. Make it happen. 
Right away I would suggest, to balance out the strength of tequila, you would want something citric. I love passionfruit; it goes so well with tequila and with champagne. Then I'd balance it with something more herbal. A sage wouldn't get lost with the tequila, maybe a little ginger on the back end. But if you hated any of those things, we'd work together to make it happen. 

That sounds awesome. Did I give you an easy one? 
That drink is new, but it's not that out of the realm. We have one cocktail with passionfruit, tequila, champagne, and a little bit of mezcal, which is like the brother of tequila. It has a really smoky taste to it, which I love. 

This place is very romantic, and with limited capacity it's a great spot for dates. Is there any drink that's a red flag, or alternatively a drink order that tells you the date is going well?
Oh, the Dealcloser. It's done with a fresh Chinatown aphrodisiac tea. We take three or four different local herbs and brew a fresh tea from that, and mix it with vodka. It's supposed to loosen up the mood. Pace yourself though, because they catch up with you. After a couple of those...

The deal is closed. 

Commentarium (17 Comments)

Jun 17 11 - 1:53am

Head mixologist. What a fantastic title. I want to go there.

Jun 17 11 - 4:00am

Mmm, I'll take two. By that I mean the mixologist and the cocktail.

Jun 17 11 - 10:07am

What a great find. This place looks awesome. I wonder where it sits on the great Manhattan drink-rape price scale.

Jun 17 11 - 10:48am

I really enjoy this new cocktail feature, but would love it if there were recipes.

Jun 17 11 - 4:20pm


Jun 17 11 - 12:00pm
been there

FaulnerSaysRelax, you're not wrong, it ran about $20 per bev but truly WORTH IT.

Jun 17 11 - 3:57pm

Been there too. Great place in regard to both ambiance and drinks. If you like lavender, they make a really tasty cocktail with that (don't remember the name).

Jun 17 11 - 1:39pm

Are you fucking kidding me? Fruit and shit in BOWMORE? Where that stuff is made, adding WATER is considered a bit off. If that guy ever visits Scotland, he better keep that abomination to himself, lest the only thing that gets mixed is where different parts of his face are located. Jesus wept. I wept! I thought I was hallucinating when I read that. I had to go and sniff the bottle of single malt in my desk drawer just to revive myself. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. What a maroon. Holy crap. I'm off to lie down.

Jun 17 11 - 3:14pm

I'm no liquor purist, but that comment made me laugh hard.

Jun 17 11 - 7:25pm

Well I had a couple of shots of Glenfiddich after I wrote that and I feel so much better. Glenfiddich you say? Well Bowmore is a bit *heavy* for work. More of a late night, feet up by the peat fire in the cottage while the wind howls outside sort of a dram. Good thing I carpool to work and it's the other guy's week to drive.

Jun 20 11 - 10:17am

Or at least after lunch.

Sep 08 11 - 7:14am

@Geebee ..... You have no idea what your talking about. Scotch whisky is tasted with water by all of the head distillers in Scotland. Irrelevant of the whisky water is used in equal measures so that all of the flavours can be appreciated. Drinking whisky neat is a trend that was mainly started in America due to the lack of acceptable drinking water. As for the way its being used here im sure that the distillers of bowmore are more than happy to see it being used in this way. If not only for the reason that they are selling more units to cocktail bars for mixology, then for the fact that their product is being used to push forward creative ideas within the industry. It is not that the bartender does not appreciate the bowmore whisky for what it is, but rather he likes it so much for its qualities that he is finding ways for others to enjoy it that may not necessarily have ever liked it or tried it before.

Jun 17 11 - 3:06pm

I want to go to there

Jun 17 11 - 3:51pm

wow, is there one of these in Miami??

Jul 10 11 - 2:30am

This bar is an absolute joke, run by clowns that cater to a bridge-and-tunnel, douche-tastic crowd. Wanted to go there with some friends for a birthday, so I called and made a reservation for 11pm. Guy said it wasn't a problem and that my rez was confirmed. When I showed up on the night, they insisted I was on the "list," which was no more than a few names scrawled on a sheet of paper by, apparently, an infant. I explained that I had made my reservation on the phone, but the bouncers were just total jerks to us, laughing at us. I don't know if it's a scam where you need to slip them an Andrew Jackson just to get in, but either way I was left marooned in deep, smelly Chinatown. There are plenty of bars that make fancy cocktails like this without having to travel to Skid Row. Don't go here.

Jul 10 11 - 9:31am
Danielle Gibson

Jeremy, what do you think this is, Yelp?

Aug 29 11 - 10:39pm

I can't believe I've been going for years without knownig that.