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What We’re Into Right Now

A monthly installment covering what, where and how the editors of PUNCH are drinking. This month, the wine list at New York's Atoboy, a throwback book on midcentury drinking, old Muscadet and the perfect Collins glass.

Each month, we pull together a selection of drinking-related items that have, for one reason or another, grabbed the attention of PUNCH’s editors, who spend pretty much all day, every day surrounded by booze. Here’s what we’re into right now.

The Wine List at Atoboy | Jon Bonné, Senior Contributing Editor

It’s hard to even pin Junghyun Park’s cooking at Atoboy into a Korean corner, although that’s clearly the inspiration. The confident, fermentative flavors of Korean dishes can be a point of anxiety for wine lovers—although they shouldn’t be. But the list at Atoboy, largely compiled by Park’s wife Ellia, is what a selection at a restaurant with complicated flavors should be: focused, adventurous (maybe a bit too much so; looking at you, Gut Oggau), full of wines that highlight the savory and earthy aspects on the plate. Bubbles come in Champagne form as well as bottles like Jacky Blot’s sparkling Montlouis. (Chenin is a rock star with this kind of cooking.) There’s grüner veltliner and savagnin, the usual passel of lighter reds, from Oregon pinot to Chinon, and so on. These are choices from someone more attuned to the nuances of flavor than driven by a need to impress. 

The American Drink Book | Chloe Frechette, Assistant Editor

There’s a volume on my bookshelf that I keep coming back to: The American Drink Book, written in 1953 by S.S. Field. It’s title suggests that there need not be any other books on the subject. It’s the same assertive stance that characterizes much of the author’s views held within (under the heading “What You Should Know About Vodka,” he begins, cheekily, “Not much.”) It’s this same abundance of personality that makes this book such a delight to pick up, again and again. 

Old Muscadet | Talia Baiocchi, Editor in Chief

My affection for mature Muscadet is by no means new, and neither is the general PUNCH stance on the wines and their ageability. But this past month I really leaned in. There is still an ample number of wines in the market with five to 20+ years of age at well under $50. But for how long, say, Jo Landron’s 2000 and 2001 Fief du Breil will be kicking around my neighborhood (at The Four Horsemen, at Uva Wines and at Maison Premiere) I do not know, so I am doing the sensible thing: drinking all of it. Look for basically anything from Domaine de la Pépière, especially Clisson and Quatre (aged for four years on the lees), both of which show that yin-yang of searing acidity and leesy richness right on release. Ditto for Luneau-Papin and Domaine de l’Ecu (Guy Bossard); it’s relatively easy to find older releases from both producers, alongside a slew of up-and-comers. Even André-Michel Brégeon’s somewhat finicky Gorges from 2004 (a frequent mature-bottle sighting) was on point this month.

Dearborn Collins Glasses | Megan Krigbaum, Contributing Editor

I’ve been on a gin kick lately, which means I’ve been making a ton of fizzes and Collinses at home (see Highline Fizz, Southside Fizz, Tom Collins). This has inspired intense ogling of what I think may well be the quintessential dainty Collins glass, made by Dearborn, sold by Food52. I’m envisioning a cloud-like meniscus of egg white fluff peeking over the top of a Sunday afternoon Ramos Gin Fizz. That the glasses look delicate, but purport to be “practically indestructible” seems both like a challenge and a no-brainer.

Tonga Hut, Palm Springs | Allison Hamlin, Social Media Editor

On a recent visit to Palm Springs, while killing time before a flight back to New York, I paid a visit to Tonga Hut. First established in North Hollywood in 1958, Tonga Hut is Southern California’s oldest, continuously operating tiki bar. The drinks at the desert outpost are mostly faithful recreations (complete with pineapple and coconut drinking vessels topped with slicks of flaming overproof rum), but visiting a tiki bar in the midcentury fever dream that is Palm Springs was kitsch on steroids.

Basque Cider and Txakoli Tumblers | Lizzie Munro, Senior Editor

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in San Sebastián last month, eating and drinking my way through the city’s pintxos bars and downing plenty of cider and beer in the process. What I think I’ll always remember most, though, are those oversized, thin-sided tumblers that you’re handed whenever you order cider or txakoli—the local wine that is, without fail, poured from impressive heights at every bar in the region. Coupled with the feeling of stepping out of the bar at midnight, full on ribeye and anchovies and tipsy on wine that is all too easy-to-drink, those glasses are just one of the reasons that txakoli probably tastes better in Donostia than it does anywhere else in the world.

The Chaplin Cocktail | Bianca Prum, Managing Editor

The double-patty, marrow-topped burger at the recently re-opened Chumley’s might be the current talk of the town, but it’s actually their Chaplin cocktail that has me making repeat visits. The smoky, bracing blend of Scotch and Fernet is tempered with a touch of maple syrup, plus an ice cube made out of coffee and chocolate—an addition that has high gimmick potential, indeed, but actually ends up rounding out the drink with a needed dose of earthiness. Served in substantial cut-glass tumblers, the drink is my partner of choice for those buttery leather corner nooks and, alright, that really great burger.

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