Kosher Cocktails: Man-O-Manischewitz

The New York Times: “At the Upper East Side branch of the Second Avenue Deli, they have matzo ball soup for what ails you. If that doesn’t do the trick, soon you can walk upstairs for something stronger. On Nov. 27, the brothers Jeremy and Josh Lebewohl … plan to open 2nd Floor, a cocktail lounge just above the restaurant, with a separate entrance on East 75th Street. This is fairly uncharted territory for Jewish delicatessens. In 1997, the owners of Ratner’s, the famous kosher dairy restaurant on Delancey Street that is now closed, opened a speakeasy in the back called Lansky Lounge. But delis are usually not associated with sophisticated drinking.”

“The bar will be unusual in that the liquid menu is certified kosher. Also, some ingredients are not ones you’re likely to find at any other cocktail bar in town. Man-O-Manischewitz, a riff on the gin cocktail called the Bramble, uses a syrup made from Manischewitz wine rather than the traditional crème de mûre. The Upper Eastsider, a long drink that can be made with gin or vodka, has Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda as a component. A drink called the Shofar, similar to a Jack Rose, is made up of ingredients whose flavors are associated with Rosh Hashana, including apple brandy, pomegranate (in the form of grenadine) and honey.”

“The space, which seats roughly 100, is designed to look as if it’s been there for years, with wooden floors, club chairs and an old tin ceiling. In the bathroom area, there are framed photos and posters of old Yiddish theater stars, a nod to the deli’s original location in the heart of the now-vanished Yiddish theater district.”

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