Just off the bustling Christopher Columbus Drive in Jersey City, New Jersey, you’ll find Atlas Public House. We’re sharing a cocktail with Max Goldberg, the Beverage Director, who’s telling us about his mixology journey. He was tasked with creating a cocktail-focused menu when the venue reopened in November 2016. Listening to him talk, his passion for drinks is clear. He’s completely at ease with talking through the menu whilst demonstrating his flair for making complex cocktails. Thanks to his passion, cocktails have never been more popular in this corner of Downtown Jersey City.
Atlas Public House is where flavours collide. And not just on the food menu, where you’re greeted by a heady mix of Middle Eastern, European and classic American flavours. But also on the drinks list. Local New Jersey beers rub shoulders with wines from Israel. And of course, the cocktails show a mastery of balance and wit. Max is a guy who’s already had a varied career in hospitality, with plenty of amusing anecdotes to pass the time of a weary traveller. Ask him about the customer who passed out in the toilet on a first date. But we’ve been assured it wasn’t in Atlas.
Max’s knowledge of drinks is unquestionable. Gin has seen enormous growth in the US. “It’s a super accessible spirit”, Max says, “the first thing people learn to love when you want to explore with flavours.” Looking at the drinks list, it’s easy to see why. But as to why his Brockmans cocktails are so popular, he says “it’s all the things people like, and it mixes insanely well.” Though many of his customers have been getting to grips with all things gin, when it comes to his own tastes he goes for the classics. If there’s one cocktail he had to have on his deathbed, its a Sazerac. It’s “the perfect original cocktail, it has no flaws, especially with the classic recipe”. Respect for the classic recipes is clear in everything Max does but he does so with the occasional riffs of someone who has dedicated himself to mastering his craft.
- 50ml Brockmans
- 10ml Cane Syrup
- 15ml Lemon Juice
- 80ml Dry Belgian Saison
Shake Brockmans, syrup and lemon juice with ice. Double strain into a rocks glass containing one large ice cube. Top with Saison.