Don’t be fooled by the health-conscious denizens of SoulCycle, the assembly line salads of Sweetgreen, or the holistic offerings of WANT Apothecary, NoMad has quite the tippled past. Whether it was the world-renowned Hoffman House bar on Broadway between 24th and 25th Street or the basement tavern run by cocktail godfather Jerry Thomas (in the Mortimer Building at 22nd and Broadway/Fifth), the neighborhood has long been a true north for drinking culture in Manhattan throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In fact, some of the world’s most famous drinks were invented here.
Greg Boehm, the founder of Cocktail Kingdom, sits at an antique rent collector’s desk, which feels right at home in an office adorned with piles of vintage barware he’s acquired over the years. Bar tools, after all, are his trade. The company’s office, which doubles as a showroom, also features the largest collection of vintage cocktail books at a staggering 3,800. Bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike drop by to turn the old pages and brush up on history.
Besides the incredible collection of books, Cocktail Kingdom’s repertoire features a mix of elegant bar implements, including Japanese inspired design and historical facsimiles culled from the cocktail books in house. In collaboration with fellow cocktail historian David Wondrich, Cocktail Kingdom released the David Wondrich Classic Collection: barware inspired by and named for renowned figures in the industry.
If you’re in the market for the right equipment to turn your home into the next NoMad speakeasy, we recommend visiting Cocktail Kingdom and starting off with the basics: a Japanese-style 1-2 ounce jigger, a Yarai® mixing glass, a Hoffman® bar spoon (a reproduction of the tool used at the famed bar), and the Wilkinson™ scalloped julep strainer from the Wondrich collection. Like Boehm says, “elegant without being too delicate.”
And with the warm weather upon us, it’s time for a Negroni. Some of us prefer ours heavier on the gin, so with that in mind:
Add 1 1/2 ounces of Beefeater gin, 3/4 ounce Campari, 3/4 ounce Cocchi di Torino sweet vermouth to a Yarai® mixing glass with cracked ice. Stir for 5-8 seconds before straining onto a big ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist and add dramatic lighting for the perfect shot.
36 West 25th Street, Fifth Floor
Monday through Friday — 10:30-5:00 p.m.