Despite its shortened nature, the month of February is filled with opportunities to celebrate — or commiserate — with a drink in hand, from the Super Bowl to Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and beyond. This past month, the VinePair staff had the privilege of trying a number of delicious beverages both here in New York and while traveling to far-flung destinations.
So, as the shortest month of the year comes to a close, the team here at VinePair took a moment to reflect on the best things we drank in February. From limited-edition Old Crow Chessmen to cocktails enjoyed all the way down in Cartagena, here are some of the drinks enjoyed most by our staff in February.
“Without a doubt, the best thing I drank this month was the Oaxacan AF cocktail from End of Elm in Morristown, N.J. A friend of mine had a graduation celebration at this bar a bit off the train from NYC, and their cocktail menu packed some serious punch — the Oaxacan AF in particular was a clarified cocktail with chocolate basil agave that was perfectly sweet, smoky, and botanical.” —Bobbie Thorn, account manager, brand partnerships
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“I was in Louisville this month to visit some bourbon distilleries and a friend brought us to an incredible bar called Neat, which is known for its collection of vintage bourbons. I was lucky enough to snag a small dram of the limited-edition Old Crow Chessmen from 1969 (Light Pawn). It was super special!” —Emily Arseneau, director, brand sales & partnerships
“The best thing I drank last month was the Jukebox Queen from 2nd Floor Bar & Essen on the Upper East Side. A combination of tequila, sloe gin, cassis, amaro, pineapple shrub, lemon, and a spicy tincture, this cocktail was layered, nuanced, and delicious.” —Sylvie Baggett, branded content editor
“My favorite thing I drank was a Mai Tai at Willie’s Hot Chicken in Kona, Hawaii!” —Zach Geballe, co-host and producer of the VinePair Podcast
“I had tons of great drinks this month, but one of my favorites was for sure the Old Man and the Sea from Gair in Dumbo. It had a Japanese whisky base and was rounded out with soy, nori, and umami. It was just delightful — delicious, balanced, and so easy to drink.” —Olivia White, editorial assistant
“Hands down the best thing I drank this month was the MSG Martini (gin, of course) at Bonnie’s in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It definitely had nuances you typically don’t taste with the addition of MSG, but it also held true to what a Martini should always be: light, refreshing, and smooth, with a touch of pungence that sets the tone.” —Dario Foroutan, social editor
“The best thing I drank this month was a Sherry Smash at Alquimico Bar in Cartagena. At No. 10 on the 50 Best Bars list, it’s the highest-ranking in South America. Chivas Extra whisky, fine sherry, maraschino liqueur, spearmint simple syrup, and fresh lime. Delicious drink, expertly made, and you don’t often see sherry in drinks here stateside, so it was fun to try something new.” —Mark Jacobs, chief revenue officer
“Hardywood Richmond Lager. Have you heard I moved to Richmond? Well, I moved to Richmond. But even if I hadn’t, I’d be absolutely delighted by this easy-drinking, affordable lager, brewed with 20 percent Virginia-grown hops and available in an old-school brown-glass Stubby bottle. You see them all over Richmond. Did you know I live in Richmond now?” —Dave Infante, contributing editor and columnist
“The Autumn in New York cocktail at Gair. With bourbon and applejack, it was the perfect cozy cocktail for the gloomy February weather we’ve been having.” —Sara Pinsonault, designer
“The best thing I had to drink this month was Vigna Petrussa Picolit 2016. Picolit is a white grape native to Friuli and only in certain years do they make this amazing sweet wine. It even has its own special appellation designation. This one blew me away and would convert any anti-sweet palate.” —Keith Beavers, tastings director
“I tried my very first frozen Hurricane this month and it totally rocked my world. This version — enjoyed at a cute, kitschy bar on the Upper West Side — tasted so fresh and fruity, I can only assume it was crafted with real-fruit ingredients instead of syrups. Love!” —Nicolette Baker, news writer
“The best thing I drank this month was Marco Felluga ‘Ronco dei Moreri’ Refosco — such a delicious, memorable wine that I haven’t stopped thinking about since.” —Katie Brown, editor
“The Champagne Martini at the Little Ned was a standout for me this month. Normally, I don’t gravitate toward vodka-based Martinis but the inclusion of Pineau des Charentes and Lillet more than made up for any perceived loss of flavor from using this neutral base spirit. A Champagne reduction, which I imagine is also a crafty and sustainable way of ensuring no by-the-glass bubbles go to waste at the end of a shift, provided the pièce de résistance.” —Tim McKirdy, managing editor