Restaurant, liquor, and market recommendations from owner Marshall Hansen.

Just blocks from where Marlon Brando portrayed a dockworker in “On the Waterfront,” where the fictitious Eddie Carbone lived in Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge,” and Jennifer Jason Leigh walked in “Last Exit to Brooklyn” is a small, chic café/bar called Botanica. Once an abandoned, burned-out warehouse, the space was bought and renovated by a parachute maker. When he needed larger digs, he turned it over to the guys from Botanica, Dan Preston and Marshall Hansen. Wide floor-to-ceiling doors spill onto the sidewalk, creating an open and airy atmosphere. A large Murano glass chandelier, bought in Venice, and a long wooden bar, with varying chemist bottles, add old-world charm and a hint of ornate design. Later in the day, a DJ spins vinyl.

Red Hook’s drinking establishments have always leaned more towards the divey, but in the post-Ikea/Fairway era, authentic cocktails in a more upscale setting seems in tune with where the neighborhood is heading.

Botanica prides itself on making cocktails the old-fashioned way with a modern twist. Their commitment to local, organic ingredients and top-notch liquors makes their concoctions stand out. Mint, figs, baby Japanese cucumbers, and berries all come from neighborhood Red Hook gardens. Fresh fruit is muddled and squeezed, then mixed with specialty brands like Miller’s Gin, Canton Ginger Liquor or Ron Zacapa Dark Rum. Absinthe, cacao infused vodka, jasmine tea pearls, and aloe vera, are just some of the unusual components they use in their delicious drinks.

We highly recommend hitching a ride on Ikea’s water taxi, grabbing a breezy corner table on a sunny day and ordering:

- Death in the Afternoon: a1930’s Hemingway concoction, champagne & Absinthe

- 21 Hayes: Gin, local Cucumber, Pimms & fresh lemon juice

- Botanica: Their signature house specialty. Cacao infused vodka and muddled raspberries.

Restaurant, liquor, and market recommendations from owner Marshall Hansen.

©2009 FindEatDrink.com




Brooklyn, Red Hook

220 Conover Street

Brooklyn, NY 11231 (view map)

T: 718-797-2297




Tue - Wed: 6pm - 12am

Fri: 6pm - 3am

Sat: 2pm - 3am

Sun: 2pm - 12am