Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Major Tom, Jareth the Goblin King — the many personas of shape-shifting rock legend David Bowie have inspired a limited-time craft cocktail menu at one Crown Heights wine bar and restaurant.
BKW by Brooklyn Winery’s “Bowie by BKW” menu, launched the same day as the Brooklyn Museum’s “David Bowie is” exhibition and available through May, features seven drinks that pay homage to the myriad characters embodied by the singer-songwriter over the course of his more than five-decades long career.
Bartenders Nicole Kanev and Wesely Straton’s creations follow the arch of his evolution, from “Ziggy Stardust” (a sparkling wine libation topped with an orange Jell-O star, named for the musician’s breakout alter ego) to “Jareth the Goblin King” (a double-gin cocktail infused with peach bitters, concocted for the villain Bowie plays in “Labyrinth”).
The idea for “Bowie by BKW” stems from an ongoing, cross-promoting partnership between the restaurant, an offshoot of Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Winery, and the Brooklyn Museum, said Brooklyn Winery marketing manager Shelby Hearn. BKW has introduced one-off, monthlong cocktail specials inspired by previous museum exhibitions before, but news of the display of roughly 400 items from the David Bowie archives excited the entire staff, Hearn says, and bartenders Kanev and Straton “couldn’t narrow [their cocktail inventions] down to just one.”
On menu launch day, one enthusiastic waitress even wore the signature Stardust lightning bolt painted across her face, Shelby said. She isn’t the only one to dress up in some glam, extra-terrestrial style for the occasion: “A number of our servers and bartenders have worn some Bowie flair.”
How would BKW receive a customer rocking a red bouffant wig or an astronaut’s suit?
“We would love it,” Shelby promised.
BKW by Brooklyn Winery is serving its $13 Bowie-inspired cocktails at 747 Franklin Ave. from 5 p.m. to close Mondays through Thursdays, starting at 4 p.m. Friday, and from noon to closing on weekends. To eat, there are shareable plates like crispy Brussels sprouts with bacon and candied lemon, Thai-flavored mussels and warm mushroom toast with whipped tomato ricotta.
Before you go, take a peek at some of the snazzy drinks you can order below:
At first glance, this nod to Bowie's breakout persona looks like a modest, if superficially adorned glass of Champagne. It turns out to be way more than its glam rock exterior, with gin, clarified lemon juice and thyme syrup.
This citrusy rye cocktail represents Ziggy Stardust's "corrupt, American counterpart," according to BKW's menu, with bitter undertones from Aperol and a lightning bolt stenciled onto egg white foam.
This bright yellow cocktail, inspired by "Rebel Rebel," pairs curry-spiced tequila and creme de cacao. That makes it an "ode to things that shouldn't go together, but do."
Don't get "strung out in heaven's high" like space oddity and junkie Major Tom; launch into the night sky with this star-speckled, Scotch whisky drink. The bewitching black color comes from charcoal-infused mezcal.
Jareth the Goblin King
"A cocktail fit for a king who is still a child at heart," this homage to the "Labyrinth" villain mixes two gins, including one that's barrel-aged, blanc vermouth and peach bitters.