owen threw steph an entire birthday hooha last weekend, the saturday of which ended with cocktails at the back room, which just might be the best bar ever. tucked downstairs and behind an old school toy store in the east village (across from the sadly vacant tonic), they do up the speakeasy vibe in spades: jazz was playing as we walked in, all cocktails were served in tea cups and beers were served wrapped in plastic bags. the lovely and talented kim (my new favorite cocktail waitress crush) served our progressively larger and more boisterous party with ease and grace, always taking time to perch and explain our unique and custom cocktails to us.

and, oh my lord, these cocktails were, hands down, the finest i’ve ever had. they all seemed to be whiskey based, but with fresh ingredients muddled in to astounding effect: one mixed cucumber, mint and fresh lemon juice; fresh ginger made a number of appearances; a simple mixture of bourbon and a few fresh blackberries surprised us all; but my favorite was the “peach smash,” with fresh muddled peaches and mint shaken with bourbon and prosecco. now, i’m not usually one for cocktails, especially not for fruity ones, but the kind gentleman making these drinks truly deserves the title “mixologist,” and i am not at all ashamed for having enjoyed his work.

the drinks were astounding, the company lively (though i was saddened to learn of steph and owen’s imminent move to chicago), and the service impeccable. nick and i are worried that we might make a habit of this place. fortunately, kim only works saturdays.