As the founder of the catering and event company Rapt, Andy Maturana pays as much attention to the cocktails as he does the food.
The company takes a “farm-to-bar” approach that is epitomized in Secret Summer, an annual cocktail festival Maturana co-founded in 2015 that returns to The Foundry in Queens this weekend.
“We’re already sourcing these ingredients for our cuisine from these amazing, passionate local farms — why don’t we come up with a program where we’re taking a similar approach to our beverage program?,” Maturana, 32, says of the approach. “We’re treating it almost like a culinary dish in the way we bring together the ingredients in these cocktails.”
Maturana, a mixologist and former Beatrice Inn and Waverly Inn bartender, works with a team to create the menus for Rapt events. For Secret Summer, they also work with brands to develop cocktails, with this year’s event featuring Brockmans Gin, Tanteo Tequila and Suntory Whisky Toki, among others.
The festival is also working with farms that will have ingredients featured in the drinks, like edible flowers from Farm.One, a vertical farm in New York City.
Maturana lives on the Upper West Side, but doesn’t spend too much time there. Instead, here’s where he likes to go when he’s off the clock:
His go-to: Knave
“My No. 1 favorite bar right now would have to be a place called Knave. It’s a hotel bar. There’s something so special about sitting there, just the way they have it set up — everything’s adorned in marble and the ceilings are super high. You get a nice flood of daylight going through the space. And you could just sit there and relax. They make good, sort of simple cocktails.” (Parker New York, 118 W. 57th St., Manhattan)
For the ‘farm-to-bar’ approach: Mace
“If I could name one bar that actually had a farm-to-bar approach that did it really well, it would have to be Mace. The quality of their cocktails is just enormous. And great craftsmanship. And super-duper creative.” (649 E. Ninth St., Manhattan)
For a good cocktail: Dutch Kills
“If I want a really great cocktail, I go to a place called Dutch Kills. It’s a unique atmosphere. The drinks are really delicious. They have this one cocktail, Tiger Chilled Coffee, that’s just out of this world.” (27-24 Jackson Ave., Queens)
Recent find: Patent Pending
“It’s fairly new in the city. Great ambience, great drinks. Very cool. It is a speakeasy-style bar. It just feels right and the menu is a lot of fun. The creativity is there. It’s a great place to sit and have a high-quality cocktail.” (49 W. 27th St., Manhattan)
For an ice cold beer: Emmett O’Lunney’s
“There’s a ton of Irish pubs in midtown. They have really cold draft beers. It’s hard to find really, really good draft. It’s hard to maintain the lines, the temperature in the keg room has to be just right. They have a really good Bass on draft. I always get Bass.” (210 W. 50th St., Manhattan)
IF YOU GO
Secret Summer is Aug. 12 from 2-8 p.m. at The Foundry | 42-38 Ninth St., Long Island City | tickets $125 at secretsummernyc.com