Saturday, 23 September 2017

A Cocktail Bar That Celebrates Women – The New Yorker


This new cocktail bar has made it a priority to celebrate women. The menu features female-produced wines from around the world and cocktails devised by Becky McFalls-Schwartz and Natasha Torres, veterans of the New York mixology scene, who were trained by the late Sasha Petraske, at Milk & Honey. On a recent Sunday afternoon, cool breezes and early-spring light poured in through Moga’s large casement windows, which are left open, weather permitting. (Wild nights find patrons crawling in and out of them.) Japanese surf guitar filtered through the moody space, which is dim in the back, even during the day. On the walls are prints of revelling Japanese women from the nineteen-twenties, who were called “moga” (short for “modern girls”), marked by their independent, Western style. Today, they serve as the bar’s spirit guides. No doubt one would have gladly cozied up to a refreshing, tropical Sleepwalk (lemongrass shochu, yuzu, sake, coconut, ginger, lime) or an ethereally smooth Devil’s Pocket Watch (Scotch, sweet-potato shochu, apricot liqueur, pistachio-cranberry maple syrup). Hospitality precedes politics—“We’re mixing drinks, not saving lives,” Torres said—but a portion of sales from the bar’s signature cocktail, the Moga, is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the A.C.L.U. The drink is very spirituous, comprising Japanese whiskey, rum, and aged plum liquor—a subtle jab at the cliché of the “weaker sex.” “We wanted the Moga to be a strong cocktail, a serious drink,” Torres said. “We were also playing with the idea of creating a pink strawberry drink and calling it the Moba—for ‘modern boy.’ ” ♦



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