For some New Yorkers, the New Year calls for many firsts: adopting a new hobby, going to the gym and/or eating leafy greens. For Bushwick, 2016 means Yours Sincerely,
NYC’s very first sustainable all-draft cocktail bar is celebrating its one-month anniversary of serving 20 on-tap-only drinks in addition to house-made sodas, craft beers, wines, a whiskey, and a light food menu. Its 3-year-old sister restaurant, Dear Bushwick, located at the same Wilson Avenue address, inspired the Northeast U.S. and English rustic country kitchen fare.
Owners Julian Mohamed and Darren Grenia have plans to take the concept of Yours Sincerely to Manhattan, but Brooklyn was the obvious first step.
“Brooklyn is like a frontier. It has a young and creative vibe. Folks are experimenting and pushing new boundaries in the food and drink,” says Mohamed. “We need to be around that energy.”
Mohamed and Grenia spent two years researching and developing the draft cocktails like Pineapple Express (Pina Colada), Rasin The Bar (Manhattan), Swipe Right (Old Fashioned) and Lab Rat (a lime infused daiquiri). The Lab Rat concoction took eight months to perfect.
“The opening was insane. We never expected anything like the kind reception that we got,” says Mohamed. “People are really into this. It’s clear the concept makes so much sense.”
Adds Grenia, “Everyone is loving the drinks and saying the tap cocktails are a no-brainer. Making the scary decision to go all in and do a draft only cocktail spot and having the response to it that we are getting is unreal and so gratifying.”
With beverages served in beakers, the bar aims to create a modern yet humorous atmosphere, minus waiting 10+ minutes for a mixed drink. Prices range from $4 to $8 a glass.
The cocktails are made from scratch with precise measurements and filtered five times before being served from kegs made of medical grade 804 stainless steel.
The process removes pulp and brings the ingredients to the same viscosity, which helps them blend together. The freshness and quality of the drink is kept in tact because there is no room for oxidation. Also, no fruit juice is used — just naturally-occurring organic acids and natural preservatives.
But while feedback has been positive on-site, some mixologists around town feel torn about cocktails on tap.
“There is an artisanal aspect that a master bartender or mixologist brings, and it’s more about the human connection and the movements: Stirring the large cubes ice, fancy shaking techniques,” says Brett David, creative director of the Lower East Side’s Leave Rochelle Out of It. “There is a flair and showmanship to it.”
Others think the trend will continue.
“I dig the idea of tap cocktails,” says Nico Szymanski, Head Bartender at Mr. Purple, another LES haunt. “It allows bars to produce artisanal drinks in high numbers without compromising the quality of the final product. Tap drinks make the house cocktail list easier to execute and more consistent.”
At Yours Sincerely, if the unswerving El Nino (margarita) or Critical Mass (negroni) concoctions don’t tickle your fancy, have no fear, they won’t go to waste.
Mohamed offers a taste guarantee: If you don’t like your drink, he’ll drink it for you.