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When work life gets really hectic, you often forget about the one thing that you really should be taking care of more: yourself. This weekend I shut down, and had some much-needed alone time- somehow, I managed not to even think about work. Instead, I took a nap or two and started reading Siddartha (I finished it too!!!). When's the last time you read a book for pleasure?

It's scorching here now in NY- yesterday must have gotten to at least 100, after the all-enveloping, dense humidity. I walked around all day ducking in and out of shops when the heat got too unbearable (read: every 3 minutes).

To cool down, I treated myself to a cocktail at one of my favorite bars in town, Hotel Del Mano. It's a newer bar in Williamsburg, and is a romantic, prohibition-era infused bar (of course, it has no sign). The long marble bar in the front is seriously gorgeous, and they have more tables in the back in cozy candle-lit rooms.

What makes this place so great is their acute attention to detail, from anything from the brass fixtures in the bathroom to the ice cubes. The ceiling is frescoed in Giotto blue, and they have this rolling staircase running behind the bar to get to their high-reaching stash of liquor.

Bartenders, or "mixologists" are doing some awesome things with alcohol these days, using all sorts of exotic liquors, fruits, herbs and even eggs. But I like to keep it simple, and my summertime drink of choice is always a Campari Soda.

Campari is an Italian aperitif- a syrupy red, bitter, sweet, licorice-ish (say that out loud), very super concentrated liquor. I'm reading on Wiki that it's comprised of 60 ingredients altogether, and the formula has been a secret since the 1860s (!).

For a more potent drink, pour about half a glass of Campari with ice cubes, and top it off with soda water, and it's usually garnishes with an orange or lemon wedge. Here is mine at del Mano.

These ice cubes is the work of a true artist- they are perfectly square and fit right in these long narrow glasses. The lemon peel is also a pretty touch.

This here is the good life.

I look forward to taking time out more and doing this often all summer long. Don't forget to treat yourself! And read more books (note to self).

Hotel del Mano
North 9th and Berry
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

1 comment

  • I love this place! Don’t go on a weekend night, I give you fair warning. You did it right, a cocktail at cocktail time, evening. Also, perfect for the Tuesday 12 AM nightcap, this place is a truly classic. I hear someday it will also function as a cafe and restaurant. fingers crossed.

    Amy on

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