Unleash Your Inner Mixologist At Harding’s

After-work cocktails are kinda a thing in NYC.  While my drink of choice is usually a cracking cold glass of white (or champers if I’m feeling really fancy), I’ll occasionally splurge on a $14 cocktail…and savor every last sip.  But, like many New Yorkers, I’ve often wondered what makes these cocktails so expensive special…how hard could it be to add a splash of vodka into a glass of cranberry juice?  And when I’m ordering a fancy bevvy, how do I know the bartender is giving me $14 worth of spirit?  Perhaps most importantly, why are there never cocktails made with Dr. Pepper?!  (I kid, I kid, but this was a legit question asked in the class!)


So to get some answers to my questions, I headed to Harding’s for their monthly Bartending Class with Mixologist Derrick Turner.  First off, Harding’s is essentially the PERFECT venue for a class of this sort…classic Americana, with the sweetest little back room perfect for getting one’s mixology on.  I swear, I think there was even an old Singer sewing machine turned table for two!

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Ok, onto the class.  Derrick taught us 3 different drinks, all featuring St. George Spirits (themes change monthly though, often according to seasonal variety.)  My favorite was the “Simply Wicked”.  I included the recipe below for your drinking pleasure;-)

How do you know your bartender isn’t skimping on the booze?  An 8 second pour, my friends (8 seconds = 2 ounces of liquor).  Any less, just give him/her the stink eye and they should know exactly what you’re referring to.  (Thanks, Derrick!)

Oh, and I have a totally new appreciation for paying top dollar for the fancier drinks…seriously, not easy work!  By the end of class I had splashed liquid all over my work station (and myself!), and while my drinks certainly tasted delicious, they were no where as pretty as Derrick’s…in fact, they were pretty sloppy.  Bartending fail, Jess!  And the fact that bartenders have to memorize all these crazy concoctions, while making them, AND carrying on a conversation about your day?!  Major, major props, mixologists!


To RSVP for a class at Harding’s, visit their website.  And in the meantime, head to your home bar cart (cause I know you have one!;-), and give this delicious little number a try:

 Simply Wicked

1/4 oz. St. George absinthe

1/2 oz. agave syrup

Pinch of watercress

1.5 oz. gin

Garnish with watercress

{give it a proper mixing in a chilled glass with ice, and then strain into your glass.  as Derrick said, “you’ll be drinking pure happiness.”}


Now it’s your turn…drink of choice?!  Share in the comments below!


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen


  • Laura says:

    This looks like so much fun! Not so sure about watercress in a cocktail, but maybe I’ll have to try it and see…

    I always love cocktails that are basically alcoholic milkshakes. A bar near me does one called Honey Trap, with hazelnut liqueur, butterscotch schnapps, vanilla vodka, milk, cream, honey and chocolate. It’s delicious!

    • Used York City says:

      I’m going to have to try that Honey Trap, Laura, yum!!! And the watercress sounded strange to me, too, but essentially just gave a real clean kick to the licorice flavor of the absinthe! mmm!!!

  • Mike says:

    Ha, ha that is a VERY funny sign!!! I want to borrow that. I’m a Bud Light beer guy for all practical purposes. I will take some Jim Beam in a flask to the movies. But, if it’s a going to be a true cocktail – give me a Manhattan with another two waiting :) Good post, Jessica :)

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