kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator



A few weeks ago, while in NYC, I had the pleasure of spending a few hours in speakeasy-esque classic cocktail den PDT. (I'm probably one of the last cocktail writers to make it there, but unfortunately I don't get the chance to go to NYC as much as I would like to...)

I'm not going to spill the details of the cool secret entrance, especially for those of you who are planning on going and wish to remain spoiler free. For the truly curious, you can Google it and find out exactly what I'm talking about... (PDT, by the way, stands for "Please Don't Tell.")

The interior was dark, with low ceilings and stuffed animal heads placed on the walls. My friends and I (ex coworkers when I worked in the city) had a great secluded table in the back. Owner Jim Meehan--whom I was interviewing for a piece I was doing on wine cocktails--was super nice, and checked on us throughout the evening to see how we liked our drinks. They are all well-made--potent but balanced.

My friend Robb was really digging the bacon-infused Bourbon (he had never heard of mixologists infusing spirits with bacon, and since he's a huge bacon fan he was blown away--I was excited to have introduced him to it.) The savory smokiness was deliciously mouthwatering.
Since I was there to chat about (and sample) wine cocktails, I started with one called the Falling Leaves, created by Audrey Saunders of NYC's Pegu Club. It had a spicy pear aroma, and was crisp, easy-drinking and smooth--I really enjoyed it. Jim was nice enough to share the recipe with me:

Falling Leaves
2 oz. Dr. Frank Dry Riesling
1 oz. Clear Creek Pear Brandy
.25 oz. honey syrup (1:1 ratio of honey to water)
.25 oz. Orange Curacao
3 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters

Add everything to a mixing glass, and then add ice. Stir and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a whole star anise pod.

Next up was the Against All Odds cocktail, named so because a customer requested the following combination, whose ingredients logically shouldn't work together, but do:

Against All Odds
1.5 oz. Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
1.5 oz. Channing Daughters Chardonnay
.5 oz. Rothman and Winter Apricot Liqueur
.25 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb

Add everything to a mixing glass, and then add ice. Stir and strain into a chilled coupe rinsed with Los Danzantes Mezcal.

I'm not a big whiskey drinker--and with 1.5 oz. of it, it's pretty prominent in this drink. But I will say that it grew on me a bit as I sipped it.

I don't want to give away anymore details. If you haven't yet been to PDT, make a reservation and go.