Going 10 Rounds With Talented Bartender Meaghan Dorman
The top New York bartender and bar director tackles our speed round of questions.
What do you like to drink after a shift? “I love an Old-Fashioned, equal parts bourbon and aged rum, it’s a little rounder and richer and is perfect to sit around and dilute a bit while we are breaking down. It tastes great at every sip.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “I’m having a hard time deciding between Heart ‘Alone’ and Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.’”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “When I was working in New Haven during college our Sunday night bartender was an awesome career bartender with lots of regulars in the area. He made me my first real Margarita with limes he grabbed from the kitchen. It was strong but divine! I also fondly remember my first cocktail at [New York bar] Milk & Honey, which was a Last Word. I think it was 2008 and it was magic.”
What book on cocktails, spirits or food is your go-to resource? “I still love the flip thru the Flavor Bible for inspiration on interesting combinations, especially when it feels like everything has been done.”
Ever appropriate to shake a Martini? “Extra dirty, extra cold gets a shake from me. I think of brine like juice, and if it’s not mixed well it can seem separate and warm from the rest of the cocktail.”
What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “Coconut cream pie and a rum Manhattan, a lovely rich, old rum like El Dorado 12 or Diplomático Reserva.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “Well, I still can’t believe the Whiskey Business name wasn’t taken. (I did several Google searches!) That one has been really popular since Dear Irving opened and we make it at all the bars now. My selfish pick is the Vice Versa, which I made for myself to drink and, luckily, others like it too.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “I’m not a big beer drinker, but I had a Boilermaker at Everson Royce in L.A.—Anderson Valley Briney Melon Gose paired with Del Maguey Minero—that I still think about.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “If I’m not trying to carry on my luggage, a good knife because as many tools as people will give you, almost no one gives you a good knife! Also, a Sharpie and my own tape—those can also be hard to come by in the midst of event prep.”
Interview has been condensed and edited.