- Photo by Pia Bazzani
Crown Lounge in Uptown Kingston conjures a Parisian cabaret vibe inside the stone walls of the historic Tappen House. Each of the five spaces in the building holds its own, from the Room of Mirrors upstairs to the erstwhile drive-through ATM-turned-outdoor pavillion. The allure is in the brooding, sexy, moodiness of the place. Amber light, rich sultry mink-toned walls, gold and crimson accents, a working wood stove, and leopard print window dressings conspire to create a sensual ambiance. It's a place the Lost Generation would have loved.
With less than a year under its velvet belt, Crown has already become a mecca for connoisseurs of a good cocktail. General manager and mixology wizard Pia Bazzani left a gig at East Hampton institution Nick & Toni's to head up the drink program.
The daughter of chefs, Bazzani approaches cocktail curation as a cook would set about concocting a new dish. "If you know how to cook, you can pretty much create a cocktail," she says. "It's all about balance."
She spends months tweaking flavor combinations and delivery methods to get them just right. Her pursuit of perfection is the proof in the boozy pudding, each of the drinks a finely balanced melange that is more than the sum of its parts. The cocktails, which rotate several times a season, reflect the local harvest (and Bazzani's pantry preservation projects).
Mary's Lemon Phosphate is an homage to Crown co-owner Jamie Niblock's mother, a pharmacist and hometown legend; fittingly, the drink's creation resembles a chemistry experiment. A green tea syrup is infused with powdered Japanease butterfly pea flower, a potent natural dye, then mixed with lemon juice, which turns the deep blue liquid a vibrant purple. Bazzani balances the earthy tea flavor with yuzu and Japanese gin for a "light, tart, summery cocktail."
Mary’s Lemon Phosphate
- 2 oz Roku gin
- 1 oz Butterfly pea flower infused green tea syrup
- 1 oz yuzu
- 1 oz Lemon
- Shake & strain into a coupe cocktail glass. Garnish with a pansy or other edible flower.