Swill & Grace

NYC's top female mixologists team up at Grace

Grace is an Irish bar with a twist. A couple of twists, really.

First, the cocktails are based on the life and legacy of its namesake, Grace O'Malley, the 16th century Irish "Pirate Queen."

Second, these drinks were created by a female-only team of badass New York City mixologists who've worked at some of the city's best bars–Death & Co., The Dead Rabbit, The Tippler, Booker & Dax and Clover Club among them.

Jane Elkins's Westport | Lynnette Marrero's Black Tom

"The opportunity to work with women of this caliber doesn't present itself often," says Jane Danger, who also pours at The Nomad.

Jane Elkins, formerly of Booker & Dax, waxes poetic about the Grace collective: "The story of Grace herself is so inspirational; we sometimes forget the role that certain women have played in historical periods."

Each bartender was given a spirit to work with and some historical tidbits about O'Malley to inspire their creation. The resulting cocktail collection is comprised of 11 impressively different but perfectly balanced drinks–not at all the swashbuckling rum punches you might expect (or fear).

Franky Marshall's Belclare | Jane Danger's The White Seahorse

Take Franky Marshall's Belclare, meant to conjure O'Malley's time spent in France. Marshall–who pours at The Dead Rabbit–used only French spirits like Cognac, grapefruit liqueur and the slightest hint of absinthe.

And then there's Lucinda Sterling's Clare Island (see the recipe), a great sipper for cool fall nights ahead. Sterling, of Middle Branch, created the Manhattan-esque cocktail to honor O'Malley's final resting place, combining rum, Punt y Mes, pear liqueuer and Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters' Black Mission Figs bitters.

Lucinda Sterling's Clare Island

"The bitters have a raisin-y quality," Sterling says. "I envisioned the drink as the place where grapes turned to their next life."

Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Speed Rack, might sum up the spirit of the Grace collaboration best: "This is a collective of women I really admire–and it was a unique way for bartenders to work together to curate a menu."