Appearances are not deceiving at Glady’s in Crown Heights. A block north of the Franklin Avenue stop at Eastern Parkway, the vibrant turquoise and highlighter-yellow facade promises a lively urban escape, and thanks to beverage director Shannon Mustipher, it delivers.
Mustipher is a rum expert and author of the upcoming book Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails out next month. The book includes over 90 drink recipes in a range of formats, all infused with her historical and mixology knowledge (see her Halekulani recipe for proof) . She’s also a member of our Collective, or group of over 300 local food and drink pros working together to share ideas and enhance their skills.
While we wait to get our copy of Tiki, we asked Mustipher to share the bottles she’s drinking now. From citrusy mezcals to complex rums, here are some of her current go-tos:
“Hampden is an iconic Jamaican distillery known for its distinctively aromatic, full-bodied and deeply flavorful rums. Up until recently, the distillery sold its distillate in bulk to merchant bottlers who would age the spirit in Europe. This is the first bottling aged in the Caribbean and the result is a deeper, richer flavor due to the higher angel’s share (up to 80 percent).”
“Blended in collaboration with Jeff Bell of PDT and Jeff Pastuszak of The NoMad, Bertoux is a California brandy made in a succession of American and French oak barrels designed to let the natural qualities of the grapes break through. Bright aromatics, subtle floral notes, stone fruit and faint cacao aromas make this a light, supple and dry spirit that shines in a variety of cocktail applications.”
“It’s a sleeper amongst bartenders that’s even lesser known to the American consumer but I hope will change soon. Based on gentian and other alpine herbs, it’s refreshing with soda or topped with sparkling wine. Meanwhile, it’s a great cocktail modifier to use in lieu of sweeter liqueurs like St. Germain and pairs nicely with both botanical and tropical flavors like cucumber and pineapple.”
“This drink’s styled after a highly esteemed Madeira that was popular among 19th-century wine and sherry enthusiasts. The name’s origins are shrouded in mystery and the earliest bottler claimed his had been aged in a cask on a South Carolina beach. This bottling’s liquid is a pale straw color that boasts subdued fruit, mild almond notes and a dry, minerally finish.”
“Bright, citrussy, grassy and floral, this is one of the easiest drinking yet complex Mezcals I have tasted. The package is simple, understated and graced with a bold, beautiful graphic; it makes a beautiful addition to any shelf.”
“Sipsmith goes lighter on the juniper and focuses more on it’s botanical elements, resulting in a softer, herbacious gin. It makes a great G+T, and plays well with mint, cucumber and rosemary, which can be added to the aforementioned or used to make a great Southside or old-school gin julep.”