Wounds, Rimmed with Salt
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Employees Trading Branch

When I was in New York a couple of weeks ago I was able to stop into both Employees Only and the Macao Trading Company, which was opened by some of the same crew.

The two places had similarities- both were very much busy, sceney bars rather than the quiet speakeasy shut-up-and-drink-your-cocktail bars that have proliferated everywhere.

Employeesonlylogo And in both places I got a good drink while the person next to me did not. My Mai Tai at Employees Only was fine, whereas the Hemingway Daiquiri ordered next to me was completely unbalanced- super citric, and no discernible maraschino liqueur. At Macao Trading Company I had a drink with an El Tesoro tequila base that tasted largely like El Tesoro, but my companion got a tall citrus drink that was way out of proportion.

I noticed at Macao Trading Co. they were not measuring pours with jiggers, though our bartender was carefully watching the volume of spirits he poured into the shaker- so it's not like they just weren't paying attention. On the plus side, at both venues the service was ON. They were serving tons of people yet the bartenders and waiters were able to execute at a high level.

I also went to Little Branch at about 3AM one night. I had one drink, a Penicillin, and it was excellent, served with a Rubik's Cube-sized chunk of ice. I can't make any conclusions about the bar during the busy hours or the drinks overall, but I will say my experience there was perfect and I would love to find out on my next visit.

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

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