“It’s the tits,” I hear the bartender say as I walk into the amber hued Brandy Library, a bar tucked away on desolate North Moore St. boasting one of the most impressive spirit lists in Manhattan. Was he describing the single malt he was pouring or perhaps the appeal of the two working girls in the corner? No matter, both are part of the experience of Brandy Library but neither is on my agenda for the evening.
A Bourbon At?is sponsored by our friends at Basil Hayden’s Bourbon. Basil Hayden’s is handcrafted, light-bodied and aged longer with twice as much rye to produce an incredibly approachable, sophisticated and luxurious bourbon. It’s spicy. Unexpected. And full of potential. Just like your plans tonight.
The French have their wine, the Russians have their vodka, the Scots have, well, their Scotch. Americans, we have our bourbon, and some damn good ones at that. I can’t think of a better place for both novices and connoisseurs alike to enjoy a few glasses of this American spirit than Brandy Library. Brandy Library’s spirit list, which reads like an encyclopedia, features over 900 available bottles, the majority of them lining the walls like books in a library, the authors, small-batch distillers. Priding themselves on educating their patrons, the bartenders and cocktail waitresses are extremely knowledgeable about their vast selection of spirits and are eager to guide you through the process of ordering. If you have commitment issues, than Brandy Library is the place for you. It is encouraged to sample any bourbon before having to commit to the full glass. Loyalty is not a virtue here.
Jazz music plays at a reasonable volume, quiet enough to allow for intimate conversation, but loud enough to muffle most of the grunts and growls coming from the traders several tables away. Don’t expect to pick up any singles at Brandy Library as patrons mostly stick to themselves due to the spread out seating arrangements and no standing policy. Besides, to do so would be missing the point of Brandy Library. It is a place to relax, learn, and savor. As Frank Zappa said: “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.”