As we start to get ready for Good Spirits—happening March 2 at Pier A Harbor House—we’re checking in with some of our favorite bartenders from around the city. First up is the fashionable Franky Marshall, the force behind the basement bar Le Boudoir in Brooklyn Heights. The lush and romantic space, with a vibe inspired by Marie Antoinette, offers decadent cocktails such as the “Air Balloon,” which features rhum agricole, Acqua di Cedro, green Chartreuse and fresh lime. Here, we find out what made her get behind the bar and which European beers she loves.
Edible Brooklyn: When did you know you wanted to be a bartender?
Franky Marshall: It was when I was a server and found out how much more money the bartenders were making—and they did a lot less work. Those were the good old days; things have changed a lot since then.
EB: What’s the biggest inspiration for the drinks you create?
FM: Inspiration for drinks come from various sources: meals I’ve had, my travels, art, people. Sometimes it’s just staring at the back bar for awhile. It’s any and everywhere really, so I try to be open to it.
EB: Which bar in New York City—aside from your own—is your go-to?
FM: I don’t have a go-to, actually. I like to check out new openings in and around New York, and I go to cocktail bars when I’m in other cities to see what’s (hopefully) different and exciting. When I’m off, I prefer to have a nice meal with some good wine.
EB: Do you have a favorite New York State spirit, wine or beer? What’s your non-local favorite?
FM: I’m not a fan of naming favorites, because I happily drink across all categories and there’s never enough space to mention everyone anyway!
That said, some liquids that I’ve tasted recently and enjoyed: While in Scandinavia a few months ago I had an organic ale from Nørrebro Bryghus in Copenhagen and Bedarö Bitter in Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri, Sweden. Both brews were food-friendly and very tasty. I’m also a big fan of well-made natural wines.
Locally, I think Delaware Phoenix absinthes from Walton, New York, should get more attention. It’s basically a one-woman show, and she even delivers the product herself as well.
EB: Give us a recipe for a cocktail that’s easy to re-create at home.
2 drops Orange Citrate bitters
.75 oz VSOP Calvados
1.5 oz Barolo Chinato
In a rocks glass, place one large 2-inch by 2-inch ice cube. (Quality ice cubes can be substituted if large cube is not available.) Add ingredients to glass. Stir.
Add 1 oz cold, good-quality tonic water and give one more stir to integrate.
Garnish: 1 perfect bay leaf attached to side of the glass.