Dive Bars, Tequila & Low ABV Cocktail – The Breslin’s Laura Lashley

Chances are, if you have been to The Breslin, you’ve had lots and lots of meat, a lamb burger or maybe even a whole roasted suckling pig. We have. But since our thing is drinking, we wanted some cocktails, too so we headed to the eatery – located in the buzzy Ace Hotel – and caught up with head bartender Laura Lashley who chatted with us about her favorite cocktails, food and drink pairings, dive bars and low ABV cocktails.

Drinking With Laura Lashley

The Breslin at Ace Hotel NoMad

What is your favorite bar to drink at when not working?

Swift. I have been going there for years, ever since I was in college. There is food until 4am, they have great beer, it is comfortable, there is always space at the bar and the bartenders are great.

What is your go-to drink when you are out and does it change daytime vs nighttime?

I don’t really have one particular drink that I always order because it depends on what kind of bar I am in, but the one drink that I can order anywhere is a gin and tonic. That is probably my go to and I drink it daytime, nighttime, summer or winter.

What was your first job in the industry?

My first job in the food-service industry was at Cold Stone Creamery, but my first job in a bar was at a biker rally, pouring beers in South Dakota. It was a week long rally that I worked one Summer when I was home from school.

Hangovers: do you get them?

Not usually. I mean I have one right now, right now I do. Usually what I’ll do is, I definitely have to eat some sort of carbohydrate like bread thing line an egg sandwich and cheese sandwich usually does it and then if I’m having some sort of like hair of the dog and I usually do a cider, cider always bring me back in the game.

What is your favorite food and drink pairing at the Breslin? Do you eat meat?

Yeah. Actually, that’s a lie, I don’t eat meat which is weird since I work at The Breslin; I have tried everything on the menu, I just don’t eat meat in my everyday life. I think that my personal favorite is, since all of the food is gastropub so I love right now we have Fat Tire with is really exciting because it is from a brewery from my hometown in Colorado. It just came to New York a couple of month ago and it’s amazing with pretty much everything but my favorite is with the Scotch Egg.

When was the first time you got drunk? What were you drinking?

Oh, my gosh, this is embarrassing. The first time that I got drunk, we were in high school and asked my friends brother who was 21 to buy a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade Cranberry. I think that we each had one and a half drinks each, so I guess you can’t really say that we even got drunk.

When it comes to cocktails what are you into? What are you making?

I am really into spritzes right now, I like low ABV aperitifs so you can drink a lot of them, all day. So I am really into those right now. I am really into Cochi Americano spritzes and things like that. I like white negroni’s, I think that those are delicious, any negroni variation, aperitif, spritz kind of thing is sort of my jam right now.

What’s your favorite low-key/date night spot?

That’s a good question because there are so many places that I like to go. I really like Achilles Heel, I live in Greenpoint, so it is close by. I just like the vibe in there and it feels like a if feels romantic and cozy but it also is not like intense. It’s never too crowded just mellow.

Underrated bars?

I don’t know if it should be on the radar and maybe I shouldn’t give this secret away, but the Abby which is one of the smelliest dive bars in all of Williamsburg. They have my favorite tequila ever, Siete Leguas Reposado for super cheap, I don’t think that they know how delicious it is. So I just like to go there and drink Siete Leguas Reposado and High Life.

What is your favorite place to drink when you get off work?

If I get off work early I like to go see the guys at the NoMad but we usually get out after they do. So our spot is at Church Hill’s on 20th and Park. They have Guinness and that’s what I always want.

What are you most proud of so far in your career?

That’s an intense question. I think the thing that I am most proud of is my team, it’s great. I mean you can make a cocktail menu and any of that happen pretty quickly but building a team that you care about and cares about you and cares about what they do takes a long time to build. I have have been here for three and a half years and it feels really good to be working with the people that are here.

If you are looking to really go out, who is you favorite drinking buddy?

I have so many favorite drinking buddies, apparently I have a lot of really fun friends. It is so hard to narrow down but if I have to pick one person it is Dave, we use to work at Madam Geneva together. He currently works at Vons. We can go to any bar, usually a dive bar, but really anywhere and have a great time.

Shameless plug, what are you working on?

I just go married. The Spring/ Summer menu is just done. We will be working on a fall menu that is coming up. It always feels like by the time July 4th rolls around I already need to be thinking about apple cider and hot drinks. That is all at the moment.

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