Prior to his life behind the bar, Giuseppe González studied neurobiology at Cornell University. So, if he decides to cut you off, don’t even try to argue with his diagnosis -- the drinks have clearly gone to your head. González has ably tended bar in some of NYC’s most esteemed drinking dens, including Clover Club, Dutch Kills, and Flatiron Lounge. Earlier this year, he opened Suffolk Arms on the Lower East Side, one of the breakout boîtes of 2016. But he is perhaps best known as the inventor of the Trinidad Sour, a whiskey-based cocktail that comes loaded with an astonishing amount of bitters, yet somehow retains a sense of balance and drinkability. Despite all the other tantalizing drinks on his menu, González still serves a lot of them.
What spirit defined 2016 for you and why?
Vodka. If you had told me 15 years ago that I would open a world-class cocktail bar and a third of my menu would be vodka classics, I would have thought you were insane. It's been a positive experience.