When you’ve been named the World’s Best Bar, as well as the Best Bar in North America four years in a row, it could be easy to get complacent.
But the team at Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog viewed the endless stream of accolades as an opportunity to step up their game.
The Rabbit crew is knee-deep in building its brand, with a new whiskey, new Irish coffee glasses and a new addition, slated to open later this spring.
amNewYork spoke with Rebekkah Dooley, the events and marketing manager for the Financial District bar, about the changes.
How did the new addition come about? Was it always a plan, or was there a big need for more space?
The bar has been too busy lately, and we’ve had the idea to expand for a while. When the unit next door opened up, we saw the opportunity to solve a lot of problems. The new space will include an expanded taproom and parlor, as well as a larger prep space and kitchen, which means we’ll be able to serve our guests quicker and more efficiently. We hope to reduce waiting times for seating, access to the parlor and eliminate delays on food and drink.
What can visitors expect?
The new taproom will include an extra 85 seats and space for 40 standing, plus 32 more seats up in the parlor. We also have two snugs [small private rooms] being fitted — which we believe to be the first in NYC. The grocery will move [from the current taproom space] into the new taproom, and we’re building a dedicated Irish coffee bar in its place.
How did the Dead Rabbit-brand whiskey come about?
The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey has been in the works for a while. We’ve always been advocates of our native spirit and knew that if we were ever to release a product, it would have to be an Irish whiskey. We’ve been working with Darryl [McNally] and the team at Dublin Liberties Distillery closely since the collaboration was agreed — tasting samples and visiting the distillery site, until we agreed on a liquid that we’re all proud of. The bottle and packaging was created by [design and advertising studio] Drinksology in Belfast, who we’ve been working with for over a decade.
What makes these new Irish coffee glasses so special?
The Dead Rabbit Irish coffee glass has been designed for us by an architect in Northern Ireland, and is currently being made in China. The glasses will only be available to purchase direct from the bar. The Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee can only be found here — we know a lot of bars make it to our recipe, and that’s great, but we believe ours to be unbeatable.
Irish coffee the Dead Rabbit way
The Dead Rabbit (30 Water St.) will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this Saturday with free Irish food, live Irish music and Bushmills Irish Whiskey promotions.
If you don’t want to brave the crowds, you can make the Dead Rabbit’s Irish coffee from the comfort of your own home.
“We use protein shakers to get the cream to the right consistency,” Dooley says. “It needs to be pourable, and float on top of the coffee.”
Makes 1 Irish coffee
•1 1⁄4 ounces blended Irish whiskey, preferably Bushmills
•1/4 ounces rich demerara syrup, (with a 2:1 sugar-to-water ratio)
•3 1⁄2 oz. fresh-brewed filtered coffee
•1 oz. whipped heavy cream
Add liquid ingredients and stir. Top it off with the whipped cream.