Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Drink Itself

I visited Weather Up, Katheryn Weatherup's (love that name) new cocktail den in Prospect Heights a few weeks back. Everyone I've met, who doesn't know she owns the bar, thinks Weather Up is some 19th-century tavern expression. You know, "the weather's up, so I need a stiff one." Kathryn and Sasha Patraske, who devised the cocktail list, joked that they are happy to foster this misapprehension.

The place, located on a deserted stretch of Lafayette in Brooklyn, right down the street from a gas station and McDonald's, has a white-tile facade, like the inside of a bathroom. No sign. Cozy inside with a few tables and a handful of seats at the bar, and more of that tile on the ceiling and lots of amber light.

Weatherup was on hand, a tall, willowy Englishwoman with a lots of hair and a long interesting tattoo on her back, conveniently framed by an elegant backless dress.

There are only a few featured cocktails as of yet. One is named after the owner—the so-called "signature drink" that cocktailians seem to feel is so important to the success of any bar these days. It is the most expensive drink on the menu, at $15, mainly because its base is Cognac. The remainder is composed of Amaretto and lemon juice.

The menu jokes that there is a limit of two Weather Ups per customer. Except this is no joke. If you want to know how lethal a cocktail can be, try one. It packs a mighty wallop, belied by its fancy-dancy presentation, in a wine glass with a long twirling orange twist. The almond and apricot flavors of the Amaretto dominate, fooling you into the ideal that you're drinking something lightweight. All the while, the Cognac's landing a sucker punch.

I was a little unsteady on my feet after one. Do NOT go for two. You have been warned.

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