Tonight’s drink came from the minds at Milk & Honey, the renowned bar whose London outpost sadly closed at the end of 2020 (the NY original was kicked out by their landlords in 2013) – another victim of Covid shutdowns and landlords who didn’t see the need to extend some help to industries hit by the mandatory closures.
There is a great write-up about the end of the era on the Difford’s Guide website, and it is good to know the excellence of the bar lives on through the staff who went on to open Swift, Happiness Forgets & other great London bars. When I first wrote this (May 2022), the website was still live at www.mlkhny.com and the copyright date was early in 2022, so the site was apparently being maintained while both the London & New York venues looked for new homes. Sadly, at an update in September, I found the site has now expired.
The Greenpoint has a rye Manhattan base, emboldened with a yellow Chartreuse/sweet vermouth mix and shakes of both Angostura & orange bitters. The issue with Chartreuse is that is so potent a flavour, it tends to swamp everything else in the glass – but a good strong rye and vermouth have a fighting chance, at least. I’d be interested why the barman chose to marry these flavours – I wouldn’t have thought of vermouth and Chartreuse as a combination that would work, but it does here – sort of. To my mind, this needs a good long stir to dilute everything just a touch; plus I find Chartreuse a little ‘gloopy’ in the mouth (pardon the technical terminology here), so the added water just seems to help loosen everything.
To be honest, I found the one as a bit of a sipper: it’s interesting but not one to have several of, at least in my mind. The key here I think are the bitters – they counteract the herbal flavour of the Chartreuse.
To make one, stir together the rye with the vermouth, Chartreuse and bitters over plenty of ice. When well chilled and slightly diluted, strain into a cold glass and garnish with lemon peel (Milk & Honey original) or orange zest (Simon Difford’s modification)
60ml of rye (or Canadian blended whiskey with a good rye content, if you prefer)
15ml of sweet vermouth (I used Discarded here)
15ml of yellow Chartreuse
A dash of orange bitters (Bob’s Mandarin are good)
A dash of Angostura bitters
Stir very well, then strain into a well-chilled coupe.