By Kristin Butler (originally published by @XOPmag)
The team behind Employee’s Only gave birth to Macao Trading Company, a mixologist bar and restaurant in TriBeCa offering the best of Portuguese and Asian fusion in both cuisine and beverages.
The main level features a massive bar and dining room, decked out in exotic memorabilia from across Europe and Asia. The lower level is reminiscent of the underbelly of Macao nightlife, with its red lights, erotic photography, low ceilings and dark corners.
Their signature cocktail, Drunken Dragon’s Milk, combines green tea-infused vodka with house-made pandan leaf syrup and young coconut puree, which imparts a silky, soothing mouth-feel.
“At Macao, we believe the way you feel is the way your cocktail is going to taste,” explains bartender Nenad Stanojlovic. “We don’t use a jigger. You can build consistency on your own by your senses—with your eyes, you listen, you smell it. This is a spiritual thing. That’s our philosophy.”
Drunken Dragon’s Milk recipe
1.5 ounces Charbay Green Tea Vodka
1.5 ounces young coconut puree
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce pandan syrup
Pinch of Thai basil leaves
Dash of Chinese five-spice bitters
Stanojlovic starts by gently tapping the Thai basil in a mixing glass with a muddler to release the flavor. Next, he eyeballs 1.5 ounces of the Charbay Green Tea Vodka, adds the pandan simple syrup, the lime juice, and then crushed ice. On top, he pours the coconut puree and tops it with a dash of house-made bitters. The final touch is a Thai basil sprig for garnish.