387 Court St at 1st Pl, Carroll Gardens
The Place: A quiet, cozy cocktail bar that matches quiet, cozy Carroll Gardens.
The Time: Tuesday February 28, 6:30pm. I have this book I need to read in preparation for my next project. Instead of chilling on my couch all night, I thought I’d get out of the house and head to a different neighborhood bar to get some reading done. I heard about August Laura somewhere, and since I love trying new cocktail spots, I figured why not take the G train 20 minutes and give it a whirl.
The Vibe: August Laura is right next to a funeral home, which is pretty confusing and odd, but all confusion is cleared when I step into this lovely little space that smells like cookies baking. It’s dark and romantic, but not packed with couples so I don’t feel sad and lonely. I curl up at the corner of the bar and make myself at home. The bartender sits up on the back bar like a boss – and I find out soon that she is, indeed, the boss. The bartop itself is just a little too high; I feel like Alice in Wonderland where everything is too big. The music is on point, filled with plenty of Ray Charles. It’s peaceful and serene here, but it’s also a serious cocktail bar, with a ton of bar tools and a stacked army of bottles on the shelves. There are two women sitting at the bar as well, talking predominately about all the Oscar noms. One of the women says she slept through Arrival, and I’m like, thank god she didn’t say Moonlight otherwise I'd have to leap over this bar and tackle some sense into her.
The Bartender: Alyssa Sartor, co-owner and bartender extraordinaire. She’s wearing Ilegal Mezcal’s “Donald Eres Un Pendejo” shirt. I tell her I want one, she tells me where to get one. It’s a great relationship we’re building.
The Drank: The Cardinale, a Negroni riff with gin, dry vermouth, aperol and rhubarb bitters. It’s a little lighter and a touch more floral than a traditional Negroni, and it's totally delicious. I tell Alyssa I’m always on the hunt for a good Negroni variation, and we agree that we don’t understand Negroni haters. I also get olives. They come in a coupe glass. I am so happy.
Was I Hit On? No. However, I tense up a bit when an older man walks in the bar and immediately begins talking to one of the two women. They’re both regulars, and it’s friendly enough, until he starts talking about her husband. “He seemed like a good man, hold on to him.” “I’m trying haha.” “You have children? That’s the way you hold on.” THIS FUCKING OLD MAN interrupting these women’s nice night with his outdated concepts of gender roles and patriarchy. But she handles it excellently, soon saying “I’m going to catch up with my friend now, it was good to see you again” and he's like “ok I’ll just sit here quietly, pretend I’m not here” and makes quite a big stink about pretending not to be there. I’m crossing my fingers he doesn’t try to talk to me next. But since this country is the way it is now, soon the two women, the old man, Alyssa and I are talking politics and about how much we hate the Cheeto-in-Chief and I’m just grateful we’re all on the same side.
Should You Drink Here Alone? Definitely. If I lived closer, I’d go all the time. August Laura is a delightful and delicious cocktail bar to take a date, bring a friend, or to drink alone. This is the future liberals want, I do believe.
*UPDATE* August Laura is now closed :(