Dutch Fred’s, NYC
A hidden but well-polished gem in the heart of the Theatre District, Dutch Fred’s is not your typical Times Square tourist trap. Craft cocktails take centre stage, supported by full brunch, lunch and dinner menus. We sat for a cocktail with Mixologist Ciara Wheldon for the next part of our World Bartender Series.
The mixed clientele means the prohibition style bar is always busy. Happy hour pulls in local office workers, and its location makes it the perfect place for pre and post-theatre drinks. The menu is inspired by their showbiz neighbours – Kinky Boots is one of their best-selling serves – and Broadway stars regularly stop by to unwind after a show. As with most New York bartenders, Ciara’s no stranger to a character or two. Her most memorable was the customer who came in for a date completely covered in paint. It turns out he came straight from a colour run, but didn’t feel the need to shower. Let’s hope he didn’t stain the chairs.
Gin is a big seller here and everywhere in New York. Ciara has noticed it making a comeback, with it being used in new drinks as well as a way of sprucing up old classics. Cocktails that were once popular in the city – think cosmos, Manhattans – have been replaced by gin cocktails such as the martini as the New Yorker’s tipple of choice. The most popular drink on their menu is made with Brockmans, called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The gin is mixed with Champagne, raspberry puree and lemon juice.
Like many bartenders, Ciara picks Brockmans for its versatility. The citrus notes work well with so many other ingredients, making it perfect for different styles of cocktails. One of her favourite ways to serve it is in a Don Pepino – mixed with St. Germain, lime and egg whites.
Dutch Fred’s is on 307 W 47th Street, and is open until 4am, 7 nights a week.