There's a new drink on the menu at The Raconteur Bar & Kitchen in Pleasantville — inspired by yours truly.
The Ho Ho Lohud has the velvety smoothness of eggnog (and some of that texture), but with a slight fruity taste and a gorgeous lilac color. It's made with muddled blackberries, 44° North Mountain Huckleberry Cream liquor, 44° North Mountain vodka, St. Germain and Monkey 47 gin and garnished with viola flower.
Owner and Croton-on-Hudson native Michael Boulos, who has been a chef at many restaurants in New York and Boston (he helped open the now defunct North in Armonk) as well as in London, is constantly coming up with new cocktails, many of which revolve around gin (his goblet-size gin and tonics are a whole other story!).
His mission, he said of this eight-month-old spot, is to provide guests with "a unique bar experience that stands apart from the sports bars, college dives and restaurant bars" with a focus on "quality seasonal ingredients, time-honored dedication to craft, and attention to details.
"I have more of a chef's brain than a mixologist, so I tend to build cocktails like a dish, tasting as I go and trying to balance flavor, texture, presentation, and so on," he said.
Like everything at the bar, there's a story behind the Monkey 47 gin where a third of the 47 ingredients come from Germany's Black Forest. The secret to the flavor is the use of the area's local lingonberries.
Boulos has just as many stories — and is just as dedicated to his food offerings — as he is to the cocktails with items like Spicy Shrooms marinated with chili-garlic, soy, sesame, scallion, and cilantro, Lamb Kofte Sliders with spiced feta labne, pickle, and pita, Patatas Bravas with thyme, smoked paprika and lemon aioli, and a variety of toasts including a Burrata Bruschetta with pistachio pesto, burrata, arugula, balsamic, and chive and labne toast, with truffle honey, bee pollen, za'atar and micro cilantro (a def must for truffle lovers).
There are also a host of cheese and charcuterie boards as well as bar snacks featuring marinated olives, devil eggs and white anchovies with sesame oil, micro cilantro, and sesame seed.
The Ho Ho Lohud is available throughout December; the cocktail bar is also unveiling a new winter drinks menu next week.
If you go
Address: 10 Marble Ave., Pleasantville, 914-769-4040, theraconteurbar.com
Hours: 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, to midnight Thursday and to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
FYI: Happy Hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday. There's also a back room for private events.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Holiday cocktail at Pleasantville's Raconteur has a familiar ring