Each month, as part of an ongoing portrait of rising talent in the bartending community, PUNCH hosts a resident bartender who has demonstrated a strong sense of personal style. In this installment, Chip Tyndale of Flatiron Lounge and Dutch Kills is taking over our bar, and debuting a custom menu of four original cocktails that we’ll serve throughout his month-long residency.
“Everyone says, ‘I just focus on the classics,’” quips Chip Tyndale. “I don’t want to say the same thing.” But Tyndale, who splits his time between New York’s Flatiron Lounge and Dutch Kills, believes that there’s plenty of room to be original while still honoring tried-and-true cocktail blueprints.
Unlike so many of his contemporaries, Tyndale did not simply fall into bartending. Rather, he pursued it with a student’s determination, serving cocktails from a home-bar setup in his college dorm room—even going so far as to laminate menus when entertaining friends. His primary references during this time will be familiar to any cocktail enthusiast that came of age in the early 2000s: “Robert Hess on the Small Screen Network, Dale DeGroff’s books and Gaz Regan’s The Joy of Mixology. Those were my first three resources,” he recalls.
But it wasn’t until he landed a position at The Patterson House in Nashville that the techniques he’d been honing were put to the test. “That’s where I met Toby” he says, referring to Toby Maloney of Chicago’s trailblazing Violet Hour and a partner at The Patterson House, which takes its cues—down to the house rules and curtained entrance—from its Midwest forbear.
Under the tutelage of Maloney, Tyndale developed a penchant for the classics—a trait which was only reinforced upon moving to New York. A relatively recent transplant to the city, Tyndale has made fast work putting in time at some of the city’s most respected bars—helping open Llama Inn while bartending at the Bennett, then taking the head bartender position at Raines Law Room while also picking up shifts at The Up & Up. Now he can be found behind the bar at Flatiron Lounge and Dutch Kills, two stalwarts of the city’s early cocktail renaissance.
Here, get to know Tyndale in four drinks.
“This was actually the first drink I ever came up,” Tyndale says of this Whiskey Smash variation that he created while working at what he describes as “a really terrible bar in Athens, Georgia.” With no cocktail program to speak of, management tasked Tyndale with creating a signature drink that would appeal to their vodka-soda-swigging clientele. “I usually start with flavors or flavor combinations that I think are interesting and then try to figure out what the best way to bring that out would be,” he explains. Here, Tyndale opts for an applejack base (“a brown liquor that would be appealing to everyone”) in the classic smash template, alongside muddled blueberries.
Banana Between the Sheets
A spin on the Between the Sheets, Tyndale’s straightforward update simply swaps the orange liqueur component of the original with banana liqueur and adds Angostura bitters and grated nutmeg. “I think what people are looking for in a drink is some level of comfort,” says Tyndale, “So being able to tie something new to something that’s old or something that they’re familiar with is a good way to get people to try new things.”
Simply fino sherry, dry vermouth and a splash of Bénédictine served up, the Orchid Thief reads like a hybrid of two of Tyndale’s favorite cocktails: the Bamboo and the Chrysanthemum. “I’ll usually just have some fino sherry or Dolin blanc with a grapefruit twist on the rocks,” explains Tyndale of his go-to drink order. In other words, the low-proof, easy-drinking Orchid Thief was a no-brainer for Tyndale who, when asked what he thinks about when creating a drink replied, “Keep it nice and easy.”
Built on a base of Cocchi Americano and Amaro CioCiaro with a splash of apricot liqueur, the Seven Hills riffs on the Rome with a View formula. “I always thought CioCiaro and apricot kind of went well together,” says Tyndale, “it was just a matter of switching it out, turning it more from a rickey-style to a Collins-style drink.”