Gianfranco Verga's Spirit Tastings At Louis 649 Bar In The East Village

Drink with the pros at Louis 649's Tuesday Night Tastings

With new bottles appearing on the back-bar all the time, it's impossible to know which are actually worth a try. Let Gianfranco Verga and his Tuesday Night Tastings at Louis 649 help you decide.

Each week, Verga–a former spirits portfolio manager–features a favorite liquor, beer or wine and invites its producer to come into this East Village bar for an intimate show-and-tell. The guest star pours samples and mixes cocktails free of charge while explaining the story behind the bottle.

On a recent Tuesday, we were in good company. These underground demos–which, in the coming weeks will host producers of Balvenie Scotch, Hendrick's Gin and Lillet–draw in the area's top bartenders (from the likes of PDT, The Flatiron Lounge and Death & Co.), turning these casual meet-ups into informative roundtables.

The bar doesn't have a kitchen, but these gatherings will soon gain sustenance: Beginning in November, Louis 649 will serve food from local purveyors like Saxelby Cheesemongers, Bklyn Larder and Trois Petits Cochons.

Louis 649, 649 E. Ninth St. (between aves. B and C); 212-673-1190 or