Play at the Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex lobby
Play, a new cocktail lounge, is located beyond the gift shop at the Museum of Sex.
Credit: Provided

Touring a museum all about sex with your friends may seem like something you’d rather do not entirely sober.

The Museum of Sex recently opened a new cocktail lounge, Play, in its lobby, behind the well-known erotic gift store at the museum entrance. With tall ceilings and rows of bookcases forming cozy nooks, the space is a stark contrast to the bright whites and streamlined display shelves of the gift shop — and it’s nothing like the little cafe with pre-made sandwiches and cappuccinos for sale at the counter. It looks like it belongs tucked between a sushi spot and a hotel in Midtown; a place that finds its crowd from the sidewalk.

But, of course, tucked into the bowels of MoSex, window appeal isn’t an option for wooing patrons. So the spot needs to rely on its cocktails and food, not to mention its cool decor and atmosphere, to keep guests coming back.

Classic cocktails include:

Clare Quality (Laphroaig Scotch, mezcal, bourbon, Galliano Ristretto, amontillado)
Rosebud (Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain, rose infused blanc vermouth, ginger, lemon, rosebud)
Milk Punch (hibiscus tea-infused pisco, Tahitian vanilla, cinnamon bark, ginger, lime)
Clear Day in Normandy (Pommeau, Ransom Old Tom Gin, Clear Creek Douglas Fir, cane syrup, lemon, spruce)

In June, MoSex added a new exhibit called “Funland: Pleasures and Perils of an Exotic Fairground.” And the design firm behind the interactive attraction, about the relationship between carnivals and carnal pleasure, decided that it also wanted to tie in some playful drinks on the menu at Play. Bompas & Parr worked with mixologist Jim Kearns to create the following drinks, explained by Play’s project lead, Brendan Spiro:

Silk Candy Carnival Colada
(dark rum, pineapple juice, pomegranate juice, coconut milk, lime Juice, candy floss sugar syrup, orange bitters; served in a coconut)

“Historically, fairgrounds were often held in port towns, where ships would come in from all over the world carrying many exotic offerings. Coconuts were the ultimate exotic treat, with other fruit offered on a seasonal basis. For example, the Hull Fair in the U.K. was held in October, which was prime season for pomegranates that quickly became a traditional offering (and are a well-known aphrodisiac).

Silk Candy Carnival Colada combines these exotic fruit flavors with the most iconic fairground treat, cotton candy — or silk candy as they used to call it in the past. Guarana bitters add an energy kick to the mix, helping guests to re-energize after their visit to ‘Funland.’”

Horse’s Neck Helter Skelter
(bourbon, watermelon juice, soda water, orange peel)

“Reminiscent in its shape of the helter skelter, horse’s neck is a perfect garnish for a funfair themed cocktail. A colorful, simple but incredibly refreshing long drink this is perfect for a hot summer and to cool down after some energetic bouncing.”

Champagne and Pomegranate Funfair Sgroppino
(Champagne, vanilla vodka, pomegranate frozen popsicle)

“A fairground take on a traditional Italian aperitif. For a simpler version, blend champagne and vodka with pomegranate sorbet and serve in a champagne flute with a straw.”

Diesel Petrol Shot
(single-malt smoky whiskey, Campari, dry vermouth, vanilla bitters)

“Inspired by the somewhat industrial smell of fairground rides, B&P Diesel petrol shot is bright red in color. It is designed to replicate the shade of the diesel used in the U.K. for trade: Since any petrol outside personal use is tax free in England, it is often colored red to avoid theft.”

In addition to these listings, a full bar and menu are available at Play starting at 5 p.m.

For more NYC cocktail and entertainment stories, follow T. Michelle Murphy on Twitter: @TMichelleMurphy.


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