Bartender Joaquin Simo | Pouring Ribbons - Find. Eat. Drink.

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Pouring Ribbons - East Village - New York, NY


Q. How would describe the cocktail menu at Pouring Ribbons?

A. It’s organized from the first page on the Cartesian plane with the four extremes being spirits and refreshing and then comforting to adventurous. Everything is plotted out on a graph according to those points. We’re still such a new bar that half of our menu is classics. We want our guests to order the classics because we want to start a conversation with them. Hopefully that will be a conversation that will last for many years to come. 

With the house drinks, it’s really a matter of the ingredients we curious about. We are switching the list about every eight weeks. The menu changes reflect not just seasonality, but almost a micro-seasonality.

Q. Do you have a personal test drink you like to order when you are at an unknown bar?

A. It really depends on the weather, the time of day and my mood. There’s a handful of drinks that you can always use and know their ingredients. At that point you are really just saying, do they understand the drinks, do they understand the balance of the drink? Is the bartender asking you the right questions?

If I’m at a restaurant where this usually comes up, I would order a Negroni, because any restaurant should have the ingredients to make that. It’s such an easy drink traditionally done in equal parts. It is really more a matter of technique and figuring out what your general palate or preference is.

An Old Fashioned is also a great one to see if they have any idea what it is or how it should be prepared. A daiquiri too, if it looks like they have a decent rum selection and some fresh juice. There is really nowhere to hide with a daiquiri; either you’ve balance it beautifully or you haven’t.

Spirit Recommendations

Drink | Aquavit

I just came back from Stockholm, so I’ve got aquavit on the brain, but I’ve always enjoyed aquavit and we’ve had an aquavit-based drink on the menu since we opened. I think it’s a very under-appreciated mixing spirit. Scandinavians though are really surprised when they see aquavit drinks in cocktail bars, because they think of it as the drink that their grandparents drink over the holiday. It’s very fun to explain to them that it’s like gin, but made with caraway instead of juniper.

Linie Aquavit

The best aquavit to my palate that I’m able to consistently get here in the States is Linie, which is Norwegian. The one they offer here is aged in sherry casks that are put in the hold of a boat that then traverses the equator twice. Not only is that kind of a cool story, but it also really gives a very cool note to the product itself. There’s a nuttiness which is very pleasing and versatile in its strength.

O.P. Anderson Aquavit

I used to see it around New York, I don’t know who distributes it anymore or if it’s still distributed. I was drinking it while I was in Stockholm and it is excellent.

Krogstad Festlig Aquavit

It's the one that Christian Krogstad makes at House Spirits in Portland. It’s really tasty and I have mixed very successfully with it. It has a little less caraway and a pronounced star anise note, which can be a little bit of an off putting flavor for some people. Anise being such a polarizing flavor to the American palate, I find that I have to watch how I use it. Americans grew up picking the black jelly beans out and anise is still a hard sell.

Drink | Mezcal


I just tasted a really beautiful new mezcal that feels like it was produced by people who care. The Alipus mezcals are very well done, very distinct and certainly at a mixable price point.

Del Maguey

Ron Cooper’s line of mezcals continues to grow and expand in meaningful ways giving us a chance to taste varieties of agave that I’ve never heard of before.

Wine Recommendations

Drink | Sherry

My love of sherry is is fairly well-documented at this point, so I wouldn’t qualify that as a new one, but I keep finding new and interesting bottles of sherry that I want to not only sell by the glass, but throw into drinks. I think what I love most is its bracing acidity which is fairly unusual on a fortified wine. I really can’t get over how versatile it is as a cocktail ingredient. White spirit, brown spirit, it doesn’t really seem to matter; it’s just so versatile.

Hidalgo La Gitana

This is the sherry I’m trying to find a home for in a cocktail. It’s a beautiful bone-dry, bright fino. I’ve been playing around with it to see what I can do with in a drink.

Bartender’s 6 Things... NYC

Find | Ingredients


It’s just brilliant. I love going here and just wandering and seeing what makes my mouth water and my mind wander. I get spices here, but they also have a lot of cool syrups. I always find surprising new things. They have this blueberry syrup that is great to use in drinks and you don't have to puree the fruit.

187 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201

T: 1.718.624.4550  |

Eat | Restaurants

Colonie in Brooklyn

Photograph courtesy of Colonie


They have some very interesting sherry choices, especially by the glass.

127 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201

T: 1.718.855.7500  |

Drink | Beer

Flights of beer at The Brazen Head

Photograph courtesy of The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head

They have 15 beers on draft and two cask-style, hand-pulled kegs. Twice a year, they do a Cask Beer Festival where they’ll get like 40 different casks and you can buy different sizes. It’s just a very bullshit-free environment, which is always welcome. I come here frequently during the day where it attracts a lot of artists, musicians, contractors, doctors from the local hospital, and judges from the local courts.

228 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201

T: 1.347.380.8269 |

Drink | Cocktails

The bar at Clover Club

Photograph courtesy of Clover Club

Clover Club

I think Clover is one of the most comfortable cocktail bars I have ever been to. It never feels like they are trying too hard. The food is always surprisingly awesome. I come here for brunch all the time and I think it's the single most under-rated brunch in the city. Their omelets are always perfect French technique, like straw yellow seeping from the middle. Their execution is spectacular. It’s just a great room and it feels very comfortable. The backroom is very cozy. And they have sidewalk seating.

210 Smith Street, New York, NY 11201

T: 1.718.855.7939 |

Experimental Cocktail Club

Wonderful hospitality and some very great, thought-provoking drinks.

191 Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002

Raines Law Room

It has such a unique feel for a bar. It’s very cool and accommodating for groups of varying sizes. A lot of the servers, who are bringing you the drinks, also tend the bar on other nights, so I don’t feel like I’m being deprived of the experience of sitting at the bar. I like that you're sequestered away from the bar and don’t have to stare at a lot of bottles.

48 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

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Photo Credit: Troy House




Pouring ribbons

East Village


225 Avenue B

New York, NY 10009

T: 917.656.6788