I was happy to discover that the title was a bit of unintended irony - The Rum House does whiskey.
Then he reached for a bottle of Laddie 10 for a cocktail. A Manhattan with Scotch? He spritzed a little something in the glass, then poured the Scotch and Ramazotti Amaro in, and rubbed the rim with lemon peel.
It’s called a Barrymore. I looked down at my glass of plain whiskey and decided the night required some dessert.
“Sometimes when you get a little busy, you don’t make it quite right,” the bartender said, apologizing for the one I had watched him make during the previous drink rush.
I didn’t understand what he meant until he lit a glass on fire.
The spritz of yellow chartreuse he had done in the previous drink was a shortcut. In my glass, he poured a bit, swirled it, then lit it, making the glass flame a vibrant blue before he dropped a lemon peel in it that sent up a citrus flash. After that, he made the drink. The glass is still warm when served, but the drink is cool and refreshing. It has a hint of peat, and it is just slightly sweet.
It’s dangerously wonderful. Turns out a little too wonderful for a weeknight, but ordering three would not seem like such a bad idea until the next morning. For the moment, I was enjoying the show.
Two tourists were seated next to me, also watching in fascination.
“Is this your regular haunt?” One asked when he found out I lived in Brooklyn. I almost wanted to tell him yes and make him feel like he discovered some neighborhood piano bar two steps off Times Square where all the New Yorkers gathered.
“First time,” I admitted. “But I will be back.”