On the rare occasion that Polo Dobkin, chef at Williamsburg newcomer Meadowsweet, and Stephanie Lempert, his wife and business partner, have time to kick back with drinks, their dog Ella might just be in tow.
“She is a rescue from the South who loves to get her paws on any kind of booze she can find,” says Lempert, who dreams up the restaurant’s herb-driven cocktails. “When we go to the few bars that still allow dogs here in Brooklyn, she jumps right up onto a stool and is always trying to sneak a sip out of everyone’s glass.”
This frisky canine is the inspiration behind the Booze Hound, one of Lempert’s creations. A refined spin on the Greyhound, it melds grassy moonshine crafted at Hudson Valley distillery Dutch’s Spirits, with grapefruit, lime bitters and, for a subtle spurt of sweetness, Art in the Age’s Rhubarb Tea liqueur and a from-scratch rhubarb simple syrup.
Because of the white lightning’s higher proof, “it provides a blank canvas which allows you to layer flavors. The liqueur amplifies the rhubarb, balances all the other ingredients — and adds a little more booze,” Lempert explains.
Don’t agonize how easily it’s going down — it only means that you’re one step closer to annihilating gloriously sticky bourbon-BBQ ribs.