Last Great Party of the Year
While we understand (and greatly appreciate) most of the sold-out crowd on NYE came to be wowed by Chef's glorious menu, in the front of the lounge some very special friends also shared a great evening...
Isabel Hales took time away from her studies in London to DJ; brother Lukka with Chef's wife Rebekah Fancher.
Studio Barndiva's manager Dawid Jaworski and his lovely wife, Priscilla.
Daniel Carlson took time off from planning the spring gardens at the farm in Philo to string roses and create fabulous NYE decorations.
The beautiful Amber, Lukka's special events assistant, with her husband the writer Scott Keneally
Chef and Bekah announcing great news: they will be new parents in 2012!
Our incredible kitchen staff (minus Pancho and Danny) before last service of 2011.
Perrier-Jouet electrified streamers lead to an indelible Donna Summer 'Last Dance" moment, (Lladies, drinks on the house!)
Hangover Cures from the Barndiva File
There are hundreds of hangover remedies in the world, but aside from Dean Martin’s “Keep Drinking,” none of them really do more than get you over the hump of a groaning morning after too much fun. One of the great mysteries of life is why, after the age of five, there’s always hell to pay after too much fun, but it's way too soon in the New Year to think Kingsley Amis was onto something when he wrote, “When that ineffable compound of depression, sadness, anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear for the future begins to steal over you... start telling yourself that what you have is a hangover.” Far better to hope all we suffer from this week is a bit of over-indulgence that time, aspirin, a pot of coffee and that whack-a-mole known as the Human Spirit will eventually remedy.
But should you ever find after a night of too much fun that you lack any one of those things and are suddenly needed to hold up your end of a scintillating conversation, here’s two words you should commit to memory: Fernet Branca. Though it shares the main qualities of all bitters, which have been used for centuries to revive the senses and open the palate (why they figure it is in so many cocktails), Fernet is more than a simple Amaro (Italian for 'bitter'). First concocted in 1845, Fernet reputedly contains somewhere in the region of 27- 40 herbs and spices used for their restorative medicinal properties. In any given year (the recipes are secret and despite claims to the contrary, known to be mutable) these have been thought to include: myrrh, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, saffron, mushrooms, fermented beets, cocoa leaf, rhubarb, gentian, wormwood, zedoary, cinchona, bay leaves, absinthe, orange peel, calumba, echinacea, quinine, ginseng, St. John's wort, sage, peppermint oil and, reportedly in the 1940's, codeine.
Two of the favorite hangover remedies we favor at Barndiva, one of them starring Fernet, were revisited and revised this year by our bartender Rachel Beardsley with the thought they might be welcome right about now. They were inspired by my late ex father-in-law, the redoubtable gourmand and world class drinker Tex Feldman, who introduced me to Fernet many years ago after a memorable night drinking and dining at Maxim's a few feet away from Jean Paul Belmondo. A judicious use of Fernet the night after too much fun was one of three bits of drinking advice he gave me which I’ve tried to live by ~ the other two were pace yourself, and if you can’t afford the good stuff, walk away. While he never did get around to explaining how once in your cups you remember to pace yourself, trust me, I’m working on it.
Fernet Old Fashioned
Muddle 3 fresh cranberries, a wedge of ruby red grapefruit, 1 sugar cube, and 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters* Add 1 oz of buffalo trace bourbon, 1/3 oz of Fernet Branca and shake gently. Top with soda.
Bite the Dog
1 ½ oz Tito’s Organic Vodka 1 ½ oz coconut water ¼ oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice ½ oz fresh orange juice ¼ oz Amaro Nonino Bitters
Shake and serve over rocks.
*Fee Brothers, Peychauds and Regan's bitters ~ among the best bitters in the world ~ are all but impossible to source retail, which is why we have carried a limited selection of them in the Studio for our clientele since we opened.
From all of us here at the Bar we wish you a wonderful Happy New Year.