The New York Post has a great review of Painkiller, a new tiki bar that’s opened on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I haven’t been yet, but the Post’s review makes me want to go even more. Beyond the fact that the bar is named after one of my favorite tiki cocktails, it seems like they’re doing tiki with a level of seriousness primarily on show on only at the best craft cocktail lounges.
What’s really cool is that Painkiller has posted all of their drinks’ recipes on their website. Their drinks are broken up by Frozens, Daiquiris, Inglorious Suffering Bastards, Mai Tais, Swizzles, Zombie Punches, Cradles of Life, and Painkiller’s Choice. I absolutely love this. One of the hardest things is going to a cocktail bar, having an incredible drink, then having to either divine proportions through taste or watch a bartender so closely as to see exactly what is being done. I generally don’t like asking for a specific recipe at a bar unless it’s a drink I know I’d want to make repeatedly at home, though that’s more of my personal desire to not ask too much of the bartenders who serve me.
So much of what’s being done now in the tiki movement is based on painstaking research and experimentation. Jeff Beachbum Berry has really enabled major progress through his excavations and testing. Blair Reynolds has brought classic syrups from Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s forward through his line of syrups. And even the cocktailians at Painkiller have posted a Research section where they will talk about their investigations into tiki cocktails. The investigation into the Pina Colada is as exhaustive as any I’ve seen into a particular drink’s history.
As I said, I haven’t been to Painkiller yet, but have been looking forward to going for some time since I heard they would be opening. Everything I’ve seen from their site and press online makes me think Painkiller is a real hit and I look forward to going soon.