At a time when Cuba seems to be the topic of conversation, and closer than ever before, a new Cuban-themed cocktail bar and restaurant, is sure to be a hit. Part speakeasy, part time capsule, this new local watering hole is the latest bar to emerge on the southern tip of Manhattan. Brought to you by the guys who put together one of New York City’s most famed libation lairs, The Dead Rabbit (just blocks from the new bar), Blacktail makes a landing in Battery Park, a redeveloping hood in lower Manhattan.
If you’re wondering how the bar got its name, look no further than the airline that would jet passengers to and from Havana for a quick jaunt during the prohibition days, Aeromarine Airways. The fleet’s tail fins were painted black, distinguishing them from other airlines, and more so, lending itself to the birth of its nickname.
Stationed on the second floor of the Pier A Harbor House overlooking the water, this new addition to Battery Park is a cocktilian’s dream come true. According to a recent New York Times article, “Blacktail is meant to suggest what an American bar in Havana may have been like during Prohibition, when Americans flocked to Cuba in search of liquid refreshment denied them (legally, anyway) in their own country”.
These days, while Americans are looking to flock to Cuba for more than cocktails, they don’t have to go very far to get that true sense of Cuban nostalgia. And to go right along with theme, brass name plates with the names of well-known Cuban visitors and once-residents (think Ernest Hemingway, Al Capone and Alec Guinness), will adorn the seats at the bar. American photographer, Vern Evans, will also have his work displayed on the walls depicting scenes of Cuba he’s captured over the last 25 years.
And if you think you’re coming in for just a traditional Mojito or a Cuba Libre, think again. The Blacktail team has created more than 40 craft cocktails with stunning flavor profiles making you feel like you should be donning your Guayabera under the Island heat. This very special menu was curated by Dead Rabbit’s head bartender, Jillian Vose, along with a team of cocktail specialists from Blacktail’s sister joint, but don’t count on Havana Rum being blended into your beverage. It’s still illegal. So instead, these master mixologists have developed the “BlackTail blend” as a substitute, and rather close one at that!
In speaking to the New York Times, Jack McGarry, managing partner of Blacktail shares how he wanted his customers to be brought back to the days of pre-Castro Cuba, but also include ingredients that would put a fresh, modern spin on classic creations. “The key focus for us was that the integrity of the classic drinks would be preserved,” Mr. McGarry said, “but we also added other ingredients to bring them into the 21st century.”
Now open, the much anticipated launch of Blacktail will bring a new dynamic to the burgeoning Battery Park area. For more information or a full view of their lovely libation list, please visit www.BlackTailNYC.com.