New York Irish Cocktail Bar Voted Worlds Best

New York Irish Cocktail Bar Voted Worlds Best

An Irish Pub that specialises in cocktails has been voted both the Best Bar in The World and The Best Cocktail Menu.

The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog won both prizes at the Taste Of Cocktails competition in New Orleans.

The bar, located on Water Street, in Manhattan, is run by Belfast bar men Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry and has been open only since 2013.

It features a 66 page menu of cocktails that illustrate the life of 19th century clergyman and reformer Lewis Pease. Pease was a determined Methodist clergyman and temperance reformer who, in 1850, established the Five Points Mission, which provided religious teachings and work for the area’s mostly working class Irish Catholics.

The bar itself is divided into two spaces:

  • the informal pub, on the ground floor, that serves craft beer, bottled punch and whiskey
  • the Parlor where the story of 19th century clergyman and reformer Lewis Pease through a narrative of 64 different cocktails in the menu.

As anyone who has seen "Gangs of New York" will know the bars name also comes from the Five Points era.

Co-owner Sean Muldoon told Irish Central “The idea was to bring Irish pub culture together with high end cocktail culture in a way that made sense. I had to bring together an Irish idea with a cocktail idea, so I thought about New York in the 1840s and 50s.

“I knew a million Irish immigrants had arrived to New York from famine torn Ireland in the between 1845-1851, and I knew that Jerry Thomas wrote the first ever published cocktail guide in New York in 1862. So I knew from the outset that something was happening here in that time period that brought both traditions together.

“During my research about the era I read about the gangs of New York, the Dead Rabbits and their one-time leader John Morrissey.

“Morrissey came from Ireland at the age of two with his parents in 1832 and was raised in Troy, upstate New York. He came to New York City at the age of 18 and got involved in a lot of gangland activity. He went to San Francisco to pan for gold in 1849, but instead got involved in gambling and opened a string of Faro houses. He was a prizefighter and became world heavyweight boxing champion in 1853 after defeating Yankee Sullivan in a bout that lasted 37 rounds.

“He came back to New York in 1854 and challenged all his old gangster friends. In February 1855 he got into a fight with William ‘Bill the Butcher’ Poole, which resulted in Poole's death. In 1857 he led his gang, the Dead Rabbits, to victory in what became known as the Battle of Paradise Square, and in doing so became king of the Five Points.”

It's a unique take on an Irish bar but the research and effort has really paid off. Congratulations to Sean, Jack and the t
staff at The Dead Rabbit.