The Dead Rabbit is taking a hop forward in time.
The Financial District bar just celebrated its third anniversary on Wednesday night, that meant it was time to shake things up. "The last thing we wanted to do was to become boring," co-owner Sean Muldoon said at the annual unveiling of the bar’s new drinks menu on Wednesday night. "[The new menu] is a radical departure from what we've done previously."
The history of cocktail culture and New York City itself formed the foundation of the Dead Rabbit, named for the Irish gang that controlled Lower Manhattan in the 1850s. Rediscovering old and lost cocktails has been what guided the menus, which have changed every year since the bar’s opening in 2012 and topped 70 new drinks each time.
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The fourth edition brings the bar forward in time into the 1900s and has what McGarry calls a "punk Irish" feel. That’s evident before it’s even opened — gone is the leather-bound book and in its place a graphic novel featuring the Dead Rabbits’ leader, John Morrissey. The cocktails, presented in several lists among the story’s pages, have been reduced to 30, all once again created in collaboration with head bartender Jillian Vose.
“Thirty drinks, we thought, would be more easy to navigate,” explains Vose. The menus is also more straightforward, with drinks grouped by lighter and heavier styles.
Rather than annually, the menu will now change every six months and add a new chapter in Morrissey’s story, with cameos by some well-known characters of the cocktail world.