Drink DuJour: Champagne Problems

You’ve probably seen their fluffy pancakes (topped with hazelnut-praline-maple syrup and brown butter) amidst tabletops on Instagram—pancakes so decadent that they are “almost naughty” according to The New Yorker. But what Sunday in Brooklyn, the insta-famous and ultra-cozy Williamsburg brunch spot is less known for, is their dinner. While the brunch menu serves up familiar breakfast favorites—charred avocado toast, biscuits and gravy, steak and eggs—the dinner menu takes an unexpected departure with flavor combinations and shareable plates that make the vibe that much cozier.

You can’t go wrong by starting off with the buckwheat sourdough loaf with salted beer butter or toasted buns with porcini and chanterelle mushroom and raclette cheese. And for a lighter bite, there are many veggie options to start with that are a very different take on your usual fare (think: wood roasted maitake mushrooms with allium vinaigrette or roasted beets with walnut butter and flax seed). For protein, the flat iron steak with shio koji, seasonal vegetables and malt vinegar is a standout.

And the dessert options prove just as unique. Soft serve gets a winter-ready makeover with a s’mores option: dark chocolate dairy-free soft serve with toasted marshmallow and sugar crisps. For a spin on pumpkin pie, there is decadent pumpkin soft serve with bourbon caramel and spiced pumpkin seeds.

But dinner isn’t complete without cocktails—and this week’s Drink DuJour is the restaurant’s Champagne Problems, made with bubbly, pomegranate, sesame and grapefruit aperitif. Bar Manager Claire Sprouse says of the drink, “The Champagne Problems is one of our seasonally rotating cocktails, right now it features pomegranate, sesame, and grapefruit. It’s a great brunch drink because it’s not super boozy and it’s light enough to leave plenty of room for pancakes!” We, however, can attest to the fact that it pairs just as well with dinner.

 

CHAMPAGNE PROBLEMS

.5oz Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro Grapefruit Aperitif

.5oz Pomegranate syrup (or can substitute a craft Grenadine)

2 drops sesame oil

Top with champagne

Preparation: Add all ingredients (except the champagne) into a Collins glass with ice and stir gently. Top with champagne. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

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Meet the Beauty Team Behind Venus Williams’s DuJour Cover Look

Hairstylist Nikki Nelms and makeup artist Johanna Rollins are without a doubt a dynamic duo—that fact was made clear to me when I got the chance to meet (and simultaneously hang out with) both women in action, on set during Venus Williams’s December cover shoot for DuJour. Another fact worth mentioning? They’re actually Williams’s go-to beauty squad when she’s in New York. And it’s pretty obvious why: their creative visions are stellar.

Left to Right: Nikki Nelms by Ryan Liu for Daily Front Row; Johanna Rollins, Courtesy of Johanna Rollins

Left to Right: Nikki Nelms by Ryan Liu for Daily Front Row; Johanna Rollins, Courtesy of Johanna Rollins

Nelms’s love for hair stretches back to the sixth grade, and her first production job was on a Timbaland music video. “I’m grateful to work with any client,” Nelms says. “Whether the client is an actress, musician, school teacher or a stay at home mom, it’s really an honor to be the one that any person chooses to make them feel better, look better and to execute any specific style they have in mind.” And even though you can find Nelms’s work on the likes of Beyonce, Janelle Monae and Zoë Kravitz, the self-coined “Hair MacGyver” still feels like she hasn’t made it (although we here at DuJour would like to beg to differ).

And for Rollins, that feeling of making people feel beautiful is equally as fulfilling. After falling in love with the consultation process ahead of her own wedding—and effortlessly recreating her wedding day look on her own—Rollins went full-steam ahead in her newfound love for makeup. “I went to school because I said to myself, “If this is something that I want to provide a service for, I want to make sure that I’m the best at it.” You know? So that was that,” she says. “And now, seven years later, I’m here doing a big-time magazine cover with Venus Williams. I mean, you can’t go bigger than that!” Although being Williams’s go-to makeup artist in New York might also be up there, too, we think.

Below, catch a peek behind Nelms’s and Rollins’s processes and see what went on #BTS for DuJour’s December cover issue, now on DuJour.com!

Had you worked with Venus before?

JR: It’s been a year-and-a-half since I first worked with her for her press tour ahead of the US Open and we basically ran that for that whole tour. And then from there, any time she’s in New York, I basically get called!

NE: Yes, I’ve worked with Venus and her sister for many years!

What’s one highlight of working with Venus for you?

JR: She is a legend and she is so powerful but when it comes down to doing her look she doesn’t need to be in control. It’s not like “I don’t care what you’re doing.” It’s just that she trusts me, and that’s what I love so much about her—she knows that I’m gonna give her the look that she wants, pretty much. The first time I worked with her I was like, “She’s probably gonna, you know, be this personality! Like, ‘no, I don’t like this, I don’t like that.’” But she pretty much just sat down in the chair and she gave me that room and that space to do what I have to do to create the look.

NE: One of my favorite parts about working with Venus Williams is being able to say that I’ve worked with Venus Williams (and I can one day tell my kids!). She’s so amazing and a part of history. She’s beautiful, she’s smart—she’s an amazing role model. So I feel like I’m a part of history in some ways because she requests me so often to help execute certain styles on big productions and photoshoots such as this one that we did with DuJour.

What was your vision for Venus’s cover look?

JR: What I run through with her is mostly making sure that her skin looks flawless, and that her brows are amazing as well—to basically define her natural beauty because she doesn’t really like much on: she’s very much a minimalist. If she doesn’t have to have makeup on, she does not. She also likes a little bit of contour so I’ll do that and a highlighter—she doesn’t want to look super snatched, just everything else like her cheeks.

NE: The look for Venus was totally collaborative. She’s very involved with how she wants to look which I totally appreciate. In fact, I’m thankful that she chooses me to execute her vision. We come together with her ideas and my expertise and we create something pretty and magical—something that we both like.

What was one product you used for the look that you love?

JR: I used Fenty Beauty’s Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter—I had just got it a day or two before the shoot, when it was released. It was the first time that I’d used it and it was awesome because it took away a lot of what I had to do. It just added onto giving her flawless skin, which is great to have in my kit. And I was also able to use it with my fingers, and it gave me more control in the areas you want to put it and the areas you want to highlight.

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Drink DuJour: Rosé Collins

Located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, Air’s Champagne Parlor is a tiny-yet-glamorous space inspired by the 1920s. It’s also the perfect destination for a pre-dinner cocktail, cozy date, or a selection of indulgent snacks (think grilled cheese with lavender honey, caviar sandwiches on homemade brioche, frites with caviar and more) paired with bubbly. And the champagne bar’s Rosé Collins, a sparkling pink cocktail, is the perfect addition to a bridal shower, New Years Eve fête, or a Friday night when you’re feeling festive.

Air’s cheeky menu, which outlines a history of champagnes and sparkling wines, reads: “Champagne takes time to make. That’s why it’s more expensive. It’s worth the wait and worth the price.” So with that in mind, cheers to enjoying the very best.

ROSÉ COLLINS
.05oz Lemon juice
1oz Capeletti
.75oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1oz Rose Hip Pink Peppercorn Syrup
Sparkling rosé

Preparation: Place the basil leaves at the bottom of the tin. Build cocktail in glass and add ice. Top with sparkling rosé. Garnish with basil and a striped straw.

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Drink DuJour: Pomegranate Mule Punch

Looking for a large batch, festive holiday drink to serve your family and friends at all of your holiday season soirées? Look no further than this Pomegranate Mule Punch, created by Natalie Migliarini of @BeautifulBooze. Migliarini lives the dream as a spirits blogger, traveling the world to discover the finest cocktails and creating her own concoctions along the way, all while detailing her adventures on her website: Beautiful Booze.

Said Migliarini of her Pomegranate Mule Punch on Instagram, “My #1 pro tip for entertaining this holiday season is PUNCH. My favorite kind of punch is one that is festive and holiday approved, like this Pomegranate Mule Punch. I have taken the classic mule cocktail and put a seasonal spin on it with NOLET’S Gin, pomegranate syrup, ginger beer and lime juice. The unique botanicals in NOLET’S Gin, like Turkish rose and raspberry, really enhance and complement the flavor of the punch.” Serve up the holiday spirit at your own merry affair with the recipe below.

POMEGRANATE MULE PUNCH:
1 bottle of NOLET’S Silver Gin
20 ounces of ginger beer
1 cup of lime juice
½ cup pomegranate syrup (or to taste)*
1 lime (sliced)
Rosemary sprigs
Pomegranate seeds

Preparation: Fill a punch bowl with ice. Combine all of the ingredients. Stir to mix everything together. Garnish with lime slices, rosemary sprigs and pomegranate seeds.

*Pomegranate Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup pomegranate juice

Preparation: Combine sugar and pomegranate juice in a saucepan on high heat. Stir continuously until all the sugar granules have dissolved. Sit in the fridge or in a cool space to allow it to cool down.

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Drink DuJour: Lavender Piscine

Nestled on Bowery in downtown Manhattan, Sel Rrose brings the charm and elegance of Paris to bustling New York City. Named for Rrose Sélavey, the female alter ego of Marcel Duchamp, the restaurant offers a full raw bar, daily fresh oysters and seasonal French plates in an atmosphere of moody romance inspired by early 20th century Paris—and they have a beautiful Instagram account to match. This week’s Drink DuJour is Sel Rrose’s Lavender Piscine, a refreshing, sparkling drink that is surprisingly simple to make. Get a taste of the City of Light with the recipe below or stop in to sip the cocktail, made with Sel Rrose’s own sparkling on tap, and snap a photo at the eatery’s gleaming white marble bar.

 

LAVENDER PISCINE

Sparkling

Lavender ice

¼ oz Herbs de Provence syrup

Grapefruit bitters

Preparation: Place a lavender ice cube in an oversized wine glass. Add ¼ oz Herbs de Provence syrup, then 4-5 dashes of grapefruit bitters. Swirl the ice cube gently to combine the syrup and bitters. Add 5-6 oz of sparkling and garnish with a sprig of dried lavender.

 

Sel Rrose in New York City

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Drink DuJour: Bistro De L’Arte

Located in San Francisco’s flourishing Tenderloin district, the new Tilden Hotel is home to The Douglas Room, a charming speakeasy offering a handcrafted cocktail program as well as dinner and late-night bites. Bar veterans Mo Hodges and Brian Felley, of bayside oyster and cocktail favorite Benjamin Cooper, helm the project. The duo’s new venture debuts seasonal creations, including this week’s Drink DuJour, a spin on a warming winter quintessential: the hot toddy. Says Hodges of the drink, named Bistro de L’Arte, “Ours features jasmine tea for florality, apple for crispness and honey to balance out the citrus and astringency from the tea. Our spirit is Calvados, an apple based French brandy from the Normandy region, which has notes of vanilla and caramel alongside the fruit and skin flavors of an apple.”

Stop in for a cozy sip this winter or curl up at home with a warm glass, following the recipe below.

BISTRO DE L’ARTE
1.5 oz Calvados
1 oz Fresh pressed apple cider
1/2 oz Honey syrup (2 parts honey to 1 part water)
Jasmine tea
Lemon slice
Apple slice
Fresh thyme

Preparation: Fill glass with hot jasmine tea and other ingredients. Top with an apple slice and garnish with a thyme-wrapped lemon wheel.

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Drink DuJour: Black Magic Martini

This October, mix a sophisticated sip perfect for a spooky Halloween dinner party. This week’s Drink DuJour is currently available at The Skylark, a spectacular rooftop cocktail lounge boasting sweeping Times Square views on one side and a view of The Empire State Building on the other. The multi-level space sits thirty stories up and offers indoor and outdoor spaces, making it the ultimate city destination no matter the season. The Skylark’s craft Black Magic Martini makes for an ideal Halloween sip.

Skip the Halloween candy and satisfy your sweet tooth with a drink that tastes like a chocolate fudge mint martini, made with muddled mint, vodka and chocolate liqueur. Cheers!

BLACK MAGIC MARTINI
2oz Vodka
1.5oz Prichard’s Chocolate Fudge Liquor
Muddled mint

Preparation: Shake, ice, then strain into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with a single mint leaf.

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Drink DuJour: All American Autumn

In celebration of The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old and The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old, The Macallan created a unique explorative exhibit in New York City that allowed attendees to experience the flavors and narrative of both expressions. Founded in 1824, The Macallan was one of the first legally licensed distilleries in Scotland. From there, the brand has grown to become of the world’s top single malt whiskies.

 

The Macallan’s interactive event brought viewers through the creation of each whiskey, from acorn to bottle. The exclusive augmented reality app gives whiskey lovers an immersive look inside the extensive wood sourcing process, an artful view of the 100% natural color and creation of signature flavors. Here, get an insider look at the explorative event, and try one of our favorite drinks from the exhibition with the recipe below.

 

ALL AMERICAN AUTUMN

2 oz The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old

4 oz Apple Cider

.25 oz Maple Syrup

.25 oz Lemon Juice

Dash of Allspice

Preparation: Add all of the ingredients together, shake, strain over ice into a collins glass and garnish with a crab apple.

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Drink DuJour: Hola Gran Estrella

Served “off the menu” at Ice Plant in St. Augustine, Florida, the Hola Gran Estrella cocktail celebrates Patrón’s first addition to their core range in 25 years (!). The new addition, Patrón Extra Añejo, is made with the highest-quality 100% Weber Blue Agave and aged for more than three years in a combination of American, French and Hungarian oak barrels that infuse the tequila with the aroma and taste of dry fruits, banana, honey and vanilla.

“When Patrón launched nearly three decades ago, the world was a very different place for tequila,” said Lee Applbaum, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Patrón Spirits, in a statement. “Fast forward to today, the evolution of the ultra-premium tequila category has been extraordinary, as more people across the globe have come to recognize and value the sophistication of this world-class spirit. Patrón Extra Añejo is an excellent example of this rapidly changing consumer appreciation for fine tequila, and we’re delighted to share this new expression with spirits aficionados everywhere.”

Get your first taste of Patrón Extra Añejo with the drink recipe below.

HOLA GRAN ESTRELLA
Created by Robert Freeman
2 oz Patrón Extra Anejo
1/2 oz Fig Syrup*
1/4 oz Patron Cafe
1 Bar Spoon Dark Jamaican Rum
1 Dash Orange Bitters
1 Drop Black Walnut Bitters
Fresh Grated Cinnamon – Dehydrated Apple

*Fig Syrup
1 Cups Figs, 1 Cups Water, 1 Cups Sugar, and 2 Cinnamon Sticks

Preparation: In a mixing glass, combine all the ingredients and stir with ice to chill. Strain into glass and garnish with a dehydrated apple slice topped with fresh-grated cinnamon.

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