Christopher Barry


Long Island Pulse: Why are you a bartender?
Christopher Barry:
I moved to New York from Atlanta about five years ago, originally for journalism. I was working as a barista while I freelanced, you know, something to get me out of bed in the morning a few days a week. I also loved coffee: Making espresso every morning was my ritual. [Le] Parker Meridian Hotel was hiring bartenders who also knew coffee and I had bartended in college so I did it for some extra money. [LPM] was a crazy Midtown hotel bar and I loved it. Then I moved on to Vandaag in the East Village, which was a Scandinavian bar and restaurant on the same block of cocktail bars like Death + Company, and immersed myself in the culture. I decided to quit freelancing from there.

Pulse: Did your background in coffee help with cocktails?
In a way. But your creativity is limited with coffee. The goal as a barista is to highlight the work by the people before you—farmers, roasters and blenders. Cocktails allow you to use your creativity. Coffee helped develop my palate, but I needed more of a challenge.

Pulse: Talk to us about Station’s cocktail menu.
Sure. We call our libations “jollifications.” We’ll have anywhere between 8 and 12 drinks
plus house-made sodas for brunch. I wanted inventive, summery drinks that people want to have more than one of.

Pulse: Which is the most popular?
Another One, a vodka-based drink with fresh cantaloupe juice, lemon juice and a lavender syrup. I’m also experimenting with a tiki cocktail with a base of banana- infused rum, pineapple juice, half-and-half and a very nutty Amontillado sherry, which is topped with Myers’s rum and Angostura bitters. It provides the notes of a piña colada, but also incorporates sherry, which is one of my favorite ingredients to use.

Pulse: What do you like about sherry?
I love its versatility. Also, due to the oxidation, you get lingering flavors that appear after 20 or 30 seconds. I like drinks that are very layered. I try to make sure there’s a beginning, middle and end to every cocktail I create. Sherry is perfect for that.

Pulse: Any other jollifications we should keep an eye out for?
Our cuisine is South American-influenced—our chefs are from Argentina and Uruguay—so I try to incorporate that. I’m experimenting with yerba mate syrup. But I use Brazilian Avuá Cachaça in the Thirsty Rooster, a nod to our logo, a rooster sipping from a straw. The Glitzy Splash is another. It incorporates pisco, a Peruvian brandy, with fresh dill, fresh raspberry syrup, a quinine liqueur called Maurin Quina and Aperol. You get a little raspberry punch up front, then a nice long lingering finish. It’s a very bright, summery cocktail.

niko krommydas

Niko Krommydas has written for Tasting Table, BeerAdvocate, Munchies, and First We Feast. He is editor of Craft Beer New York, an app for the iPhone, and a columnist for Yankee Brew News. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.