Tanner Smith’s

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Tanner Smith’s, NYC

We sit along the bar with Tanner Smith’s new Brockmans cocktail: a take on a traditional G&T with Cocci Americano and hibiscus as we chat to Kevin Doherty. He’s the Beverage Director of this early 20th century drinking house, wearing a smirk as we grill him on the menu and culture. The wooden beams and columns that surround the experiential cocktail bar make it homey for the number of tourists that throng Midtown, but Tanner Smith’s is equally as appealing to local, young professionals and the after-work regulars.

A Smoked Old Fashioned is the drink of choice for many, which matches the current classic revival that the bar is likewise jumping on. As Kevin describes it, Tanner Smith’s is unique in that it blends the best of what the city has to offer –that is to say knowledgeable staff encompassing that agreeable tavern feel as they execute an array of complex drinks.

Tanner Smith's Brockmans
(c) Andee Maher

If he had to choose, he’d whip up a Brockmans take on the traditional White Lady with egg white and Cointreau. It’s perfect given the smooth and rich in ripe fruits, citrus and blackberry notes he enjoys so much. Fitting given New York’s new back bar trend towards more niche products as he describes. Along with a classic cocktail you should enquire about the history of the tavern, named after the man who kept NYC well oiled during Prohibition.

So we ask him to describe something interesting he’s seen over his time at Tanner Smith’s. After all, the place is an institution. He tells us about the time he was waiting on a group of 40 people who were an hour late. He called them and they said they were pulling up so when he went outside to check, all he could see was a trailer used for livestock. Forty people dressed as sheep stepped out of the trailer and into the bar! Now he knows to be prepared for whatever will walk through his door! Like all of you Brockmans Gin drinkers…