Gripe if you must about traveling to the subway-sparse neighborhood of Red Hook. The tiki potions there are worth a bus or bike ride. Every Thursday, Fort Defiance fills with dry-ice smoke and blue flames dance over tiki mugs, announcing another session of The Sunken Harbor Club. The weekly celebration of Polynesian food and drink was created by bartender Zac Overman and continues to be “a delightful way to start a hangover.” Each session caters to a specific theme, be it sci-fi, zombie or even St. Patrick’s Day tiki. A recent pirate theme included drinks like the Davy Jones’ Locker, a menacing blend of rum, Fernet Branca, grapefruit, lime and cinnamon.
THE DRINK TO DRINK:
Chart a course straight for classics like the Fog Cutter, made with rum, gin, cognac and orgeat, or the Jet Pilot, with rum, absinthe, cinnamon and fresh juices. Some weeks feature an all-emoji cocktail menu that requires a little extra brain-power to order from: Think a plant emoji + a fist emoji = Planter’s Punch.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
This is Red Hook. You’ll have to take a bus, ferry or hoof it on foot to Fort Defiance, so plan ahead. Once you’ve arrived, settle down to plates of crispy wontons, soba noodles or the duo deal of noodles and a Daiquiri for $22.