After waiting patiently for a liquor license, former Pegu Club bartender and food and travel writer St. John Frizell starts serving cocktails at his Red Hook café, Fort Defiance, tonight. He tells us the list is still a work in progress but that he’ll certainly be taking advantage of his custom seltzer system (built for extra coldness and fizziness) to make three varieties of Tom Collins (the traditional gin-and-lemon concoction as well as one with muddled cucumber and a 24-ounce version). He’ll also serve a mai tai, two punches (one made with watermelon, gin, and lemon, and the other with aquavit, Riesling, strawberries, cucumbers, and citrus), a Barbados Buck (rum, homemade ginger syrup, lime juice, and seltzer water), and a Prescription Julep, an 1850s recipe via drink guru David Wondrich that calls for brandy, rye, and mint. Cocktails will be around $8, and Frizell will also serve four tap beers, three reds, and three whites. Until the full small-plates program launches in a few weeks, bar bites like deviled eggs, oysters, and meat-and-cheese plates will be served. Fort Defiance is now open Monday through Thursday (except Tuesday, when it’s closed) from 7 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. and then from 5:30 p.m. till midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, it opens at 8 a.m., with the same break in the afternoon, and closes at 2 a.m.
Fort Defiance, 365 Van Brunt St., nr. Dikeman St., Red Hook, Brooklyn; 347-453-6672