Drink Nation

New York's Ruby Red Cocktails for Lovers and Loners Alike

For new romance or celebrating friendship

The Mighty Quinn

It’s the wrong season to take your new love for a walk in a garden, but Meadowsweet brings fresh herbs to the plate and the glass. When Stephanie Lempert, co-owner of Meadowsweet, talks about freshness, she’s being exacting. “We harvest the rosemary from our seventeen-foot indoor garden.” The garden is Lepert’s domain, and it’s where the bartenders get all of their herbs. Truth be told, Meadowsweet is founded in romance. Lempert’s husband, the restaurant’s co-owner, is chef Polo Dobkin.

Meadowsweet has a big, wraparound bar, good for lingering, eating, drinking or simply sitting beside your Valentine and holding hands. Reclaimed heart-of-pine gives a warm, backcountry feel that’s instantly comforting. The tile floor is as vintage as it looks; there’s nothing feigned in Meadowsweet. You’re here to share in romance and to drink The Mighty Quinn.

Lempert says the drink is “named after a very good friend of ours, Greg Quinn.” If you like currants and you’re big on buying local, then Quinn is among your unsung heroes. Quinn fought hard for the right to grow currants – long banned from US soil -- in this country again. “He gave my father-in-law a few currant bushes,” Lempert remembers. “We wanted to work with his currants. The Mighty Quinn was born.”

The cocktail is made with fresh lemon juice, Pennsylvania honey and Quinn’s blackcurrant concentrate, which comes from upstate NY. The garnish is lemon and fresh-from-the-herb-bed rosemary. The Mighty Quinn is based in vodka, the original Quinn’s white spirit of choice, but Meadowsweet’s bartenders will cheerfully make it with gin. Love and cocktails, made to please.


Photo by Melissa Horn