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The Early Word: Painkiller

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There’s only one thing Mitch Weinstein enjoys more than a good meal, and that is a good cocktail. Here’s his early take on the Lower East Side’s newest bar:

Welcome to the neighborhood, our new tiki bar, called Painkiller. Located right next to the Pickle Guys on Essex Street, in a space formerly occupied by the East Side Company Bar, Painkiller will help you do just that.

Kill the pain, that is. Especially if you love tiki drinks…and who doesn’t? For now, the menu is a simple placemat, no prices listed and depicting some tiki classics…

Even if you don’t love a Mai Tai, or love a Zombie, or love any of the other delicious rum based concoctions the talented team of mixologists at Painkiller are stirring, shaking and blending, I also noticed gin, whisk(e)y, vermouth et al. on the back bar, so have no fear. Well, that is, unless you fear what rum at 151 proof might leave you feeling like (don’t worry, you can only have one – that’s a house rule).

Behind the stick you’re likely to find Giuseppe Gonzalez and Richie Boccato, two fine tenders whose names are known to most anyone who has followed the resurgence of fine cocktail establishments in our city. Friday night, which happened to be opening night, Mr. Gonzalez mixed up a delicious Martinique daiquiri for me, a variation on the classic daiquiri made with rhum agricole and maraschino and topped it off with freshly grated nutmeg; needless to say, it went down easily…

Daiquiri flights, scorpion bowls, swizzles, painkillers and drinks served in frozen pineapple shells were everywhere. And from what I could tell from checking out the happy crowd, everyone else’s drinks went down as easily as mine.

Mitch Weinstein is The Lo-Down’s food/cocktail contributor and has his own blog, Tasty Travails.

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