Since opening in 1915, New York City’s Dante has been a beacon for actors, writers, and musicians. But this isn’t some preserved-in-amber institution resting on its laurels. Named the 16th best bar in the world at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail, Dante has a famous Negroni fountain and a Summer of Spritz program offering eight Spritz variations.
Running one of the best cocktail programs in the world at one of the most venerable bars in NYC requires some of the best bartenders in the game. Consider Liana Oster. Honored with the Hot Talent Award at the Time Out Bar Awards in Melbourne, Australia, Oster joined Dante in March 2017. Now she’s mixing up some of the hottest cocktails in New York, including Dante’s nine Negroni iterations. We caught up with Oster to hear what her first legal drink was (Australians can start imbibing at 18), and what she really thinks about Margaritas.
1. What’s your desert island drink?
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2. What’s the first drink you bought when you turned 21?
Lemon Ruski’s … it’s 18 in Australia.
3. FMK three cocktails: Negroni, Margarita, Manhattan
F: Manhattan M: Negroni K: Margarita
4. You’re on death row. What’s your death row drink?
5. You can only drink at one bar for the rest of your life. What is it?
Four Horsemen, if wine bars count? If not, The Black Pearl.
6. What’s the best and worst bottle on your shelf?
Best: Amer Picon (I’m a sucker for amari) Worst: I saw some blue Curaçao floating a little while ago.
7. What cocktail will you never order again?
I tried a Flaming Lamborghini once…