Prince always makes a big deal out of making sure his fans are referred to as “friends”, because fan is short for “fanatic”. Given that he’s a Jehovah’s Witness now and no longer performs songs like “Soft & Wet” or “Darling Nikki”because they are against God’s chaste will or some crap I’m certainly no longer fanatic about him. But I’m pleased to say Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters has one friend who truly verges on the fanatic, and we couldn’t be more pleased about it. I first met Daniele Dalla Polla at the Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand (which his crew, Team Italy, won) and when I shared our rhubarb bitters with him he went a little bananas for them. In the past year he’s opened Bologna’s first–and doubtless best-tiki bar, Nu Lounge, and used our bitters at every available opportunity, and often posts the recipes to Facebook, with photos–I mean, the guy does more PR work for us than we do. I saw him only briefly at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, where he served me an improbably good green drink at a Midori event at the Hotel Monteleone (note to self: get that recipe). But it was long enough for him to hand over 4 hand painted tee shirts featuring our labels. Pretty ridiculously awesome. And those four tees are getting some good use–Mark & I both have one, of course, but we gave one to Sean Hoard of Teardrop Lounge –he’s another CWC champ, a great bartender and a personal friend, and one to Alejandro Grecco (below), who helps us with bottling and shipping (and who is an instructor at the New York Kayak Company, on 25th Street and the Hudson–I highly recommend going for a night kayak with this outfit sometime.)
Now Daniele has made a new cocktail with our summer offering, the Spicy Charred Pineapple Bitters. And created a beautiful graphic for the recipe, and photographed it (above). He is, in the Kathy-Bates-in-Misery sense, our Number One Fan. The culture that gave us Puccini, Fellini and Rossellini (I think we can include Isabella in there along with pa Roberto) has given us one brilliant fanatic. Color us deeply flattered, and humbled. It’s amazing to have so many good friends support us in so many ways. J.R.