Lantern's Keep's Meaghan Dorman Talks Appletinis, Negroni Cravings and Bringing Back the '80s (in Cocktail Form)
The last time we checked in with Meaghan Dorman, she'd just launched her first cocktail list at Raines Law Room (48 West 17th Street). Since then, she has launched a couple more at such bars as Jones Wood Foundry (401 East 76th Street) and Lantern's Keep in the Iroquois Hotel (49 West 44th Street). She took time out of her busy schedule to talk shop.
David Roman The busy, busy Meaghan Dorman
You've been busy these days. Where are you spending most of your time?
Currently I'm splitting my time between bartending Raines Law Room and managing the bar at Lantern's Keep. I won't be at Lantern's Keep permanently, but I am there a lot to make sure the foundation I built sets well, so to speak.
Do you feel like you have a style you're importing to each place, or do you always bring something different to the table for each bar?
While the actual cocktails are quite varied, I always make sure to keep a list diverse. There's got to be something for everyone. I had a lot of fun experimenting with old hotel bar drinks for the Lantern's list, while at Raines the inspiration is truly from all over, both modern and classic. In terms of my own style, I always keep an eye on the overall experience of a guest, so I would hope to impart that on my staff. Beyond the cocktails, everything is important, from finding ways to connect with your guest to having a really clean bar. Going to work at Raines Law Room is like throwing a house party every night, and nobody wants to be the gal that threw a lame party.
What's you favorite spirit or ingredient of the moment?
I'm a huge Campari fan. I was definitely one of those people that thought it was way too harsh a few years ago and one day woke up with a Negroni craving. Now I love to find ways to work with it.
So, it's not cupcake vodka, then?
I only know of cupcake vodka via mocking Facebook posts. A boozy treat for me comes in a pineapple at Painkiller.