Tanqueray gin took over the historic former brass foundry The Green Building in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, to launch its “Tonight We Tanqueray” campaign this week. The palm trees, velvet ropes and stylishly dressed socialites evoked a Hollywood oasis in the tree-lined residential neighborhood.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge gin fan, so I’m always game for a night of cocktails featuring the juniper-infused spirit. The fact that Idris Elba of “The Wire” and “Luther” fame would be also there didn’t hurt.
I headed to the bar and started with the Tiny Ten, a concoction of Tanqueray No. Ten, fresh pink grapefruit juice and sugar. The brand’s more citrus-forward gin provided the perfect backdrop for the splash of grapefruit juice, resulting in a strong yet refreshing drink.
Next I went for the classic French 75, made with Tanqueray London Dry gin, fresh lemon juice and sugar, topped with Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco. The fizzy cocktail had just the right balance of sweet and citrus.
The Crest, comprising London Dry gin and fresh orange and pineapple juices, was just a glorified Gin & Juice, according to one of the bartenders. It was so delicious, I probably could have kept drinking it ’til six in the mornin’.
Instead, I moved on to the Quatro, which was basically an oversized Gin & Tonic served in a large, fishbowl-style goblet. There’s really no better drink than a G&T made with top-notch gin, a high-quality tonic like Fever Tree and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Shortly before musician Aloe Blacc took the stage, fellow Tanqueray cohorts Idris Elba and Michael Pitt emerged to mingle with the crowd. (If their female counterpart—British singer-songwriter/model Karen Elson—was around, I didn’t notice.) Michael Pitt, who appears in the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” rocked some serious shades.
I got a chance to chat briefly with Elba, who looked quite fetching in a white button-up, black vest and black beret. “So you’re a gin drinker?” I asked. “Apparently,” he replied, with a laugh. I then inquired what his favorite cocktail was, and he said, “An old-fashioned Gin & Tonic,” as he reached for a glass of the aforementioned Quatro.
Coincidentally, Elba’s former “The Wire” co-star Michael Kenneth Williams (aka Omar) was also there, though he was invited by Michael Pitt, with whom Williams currently works on “Boardwalk Empire.” He’s also a fan of Aloe Blacc, who performed a mix of soul, jazz and funk with a full band
After a few songs, Blacc retreated from the stage, and partygoers continued to partake of the still-flowing cocktails as DJs played disco, hip-hop and R&B. Though one drink remained on the list—Rangpur Rocks, which was simply Tanqueray’s lime-infused gin over ice—I decided to cut my losses and head home. Too bad I couldn’t get a ride in The Green Building’s vintage Ford truck.
© Amber Drea and New York Drinkie, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of images and text without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts may be used, provided that clear credit is given to Amber Drea and New York Drinkie with links directing to the original content.