As you can tell by the name, Dingaling — a new-ish and already very popular cocktail destination deep within Manhattan’s Alphabet City — is a bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Sure, there are bona fide drinks pros running the joint (it’s overseen by Noble Harris and Michael Bray, the duo behind Kind Regards), but while the cocktail menu seems breezy and fun, it’s secretly more complex than they let on.
But it’s also not making a big statement. “House party was the vibe we were shooting for,” explains Harris, the bar’s co-owner. “I didn’t want to present Dingaling as a ‘cocktail bar’ but more as a cool friend’s apartment that makes great drinks. Fresh citrus, bright flavors and proper specs mean a lot more here than high-end creativity. And having blenders behind the bar was a no-brainer.” (A press release for the bar notes that Harris and Bray are inspired by John Waters’s notion of “good bad taste,” namely “to understand bad taste one must have very good taste.”)
All the drinks here — from a Mexican Coffee Negroni to a “Basic Autumn Coffee” (complete with a few shakes of McCormick Pumpkin Pie spice) to the return of the very old-school Grasshopper — are fun and conversation-worthy. Of particular note is the Banana Bread Daiquiri, a blended drink that utilizes some of the ingredients and most of the flavors you’d find in that ubiquitous banana bread recipe from 2020.
“That was actually a drink I did a long time ago for a Giffard event I worked at, using Giffard banana liqueur,” says Harris. “It was served up as a traditional daiquiri and also very tasty. When we started playing with the blenders it was the first thing we tried, and now it’s a bit of a signature item.”
Head to Dingaling to try one tonight … or break out the brown bananas and make one at home. Recipe below.
Dingaling’s Banana Bread Daiquiri
- .5 oz cinnamon/vanilla syrup
- .75 oz fresh lime juice
- 2 oz house rum blend*
- Half a ripe banana … or brown banana from the freezer (“Just like with real banana bread, the funkier the better,” says Harris)
Blend with pebble ice. Note: The drink can also served up in a coupe — just sub out the half banana with .5 oz Giffard’s Banane du Brésil.
*Dingaling’s house rum blend for all their daiquiris is 7 parts El Dorada 3 Year, 2 parts El Dorado 5 Year and 1 part Ron Zacapa 23, which they usually batch in 10-bottle batches.
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