The Best Smelling Bar in the World: Spirited

SpiritedSpirited might just be the best smelling bar in the world.

OK, to be fair, the place is not just a bar, it’s also a bakery, so that explains the aroma of vanilla wafting over from the open kitchen as I settled in last night at the traditional bar in the front.

It’s a great space – many features of the original 19th century barroom have been preserved. And the back room is a fun little lounge, kind of a dessert speakeasy if you will. I’m loving the idea of coming back here soon for an after dinner drink and a little bite of dessert.

The service was great. Owner Kimberly Wetherell is a bundle of positive energy. She’s incredibly supportive of the local spirits scene – most of the brands featured in Brooklyn Spirits are in-house here, used as ingredients in the sweets (bourbon balls with KCD whiskey, anyone?) or on the cocktail menu.

The desserts deserve special praise. This is all high end stuff, made with booze. This weekend, there was a gorgeous Buche de Noel and I’m psyched to try their homemade gingerbread house (made with stout). That said, the best way to capture how good this place is this: even the fruit cake was delicious. Read that again and appreciate the majesty of Spirited.

hot toddyPeter Hogan was the man making the drinks and he knows his craft. I started with their spin on a hot toddy, called a Tilden Toddy, spiked with a little Sorel. Those Christmas-y Sorel spice notes warmed up are just perfect on a cold winter night – though I’m kicking myself a bit that we didn’t do a warm Sorel drink for the book.

From there, Peter made two drinks straight from the book – we did a Chief Gowanus Martinez, a spirit-forward take that’s one of my favorite ways to consume the Gowanus, and I rounded out the visit with a dry take on the Suburban, which combines rum, port, and Brad Estabrooke’s 77 Corn and Rye.

Spirited is a welcome addition to the neighborhood bar scene and a place I’ll be visiting again soon – for cocktails and for all my holiday dessert needs.