With all the wine floating around, one might not guess that there’s a lot of shaking and stirring happening at Morrell Wine Bar, too. A closer look reveals beet-infused vodka, house-made ginger-pepper bitters and plenty of rye whisky in a solid cocktail program from mixologist Dave Chura.

Just the balance between Brooklyn hip and approachable New York sophistication, Chura crafts classic cocktails with a twist—Tom Collins with chamomile-infused gin made in house, a take on the Blood and Sand with Prohibition-style whiskey, and the New Orleans-inspired Big Easy with a healthy dose of Peyschaud. He’s committed to finding unique flavors to highlight in a drink by playing around with the classics and adding subtle spices. And in an area dominated by $22 martinis, it’s a welcome reprieve.

“Like a good wine, cocktails have primary flavors, then secondary flavors,” Chura explained. “Wine takes you on a journey. Cocktails can too.”

Chura, who sports a perfectly trimmed blonde beard, believes that bitters are an essential part to a great cocktail experience. Like finishing salt and a dash of pepper, bitters can make a cocktail go from good to wow by rounding out the flavors. He’s started Morrell’s first bitters program, experimenting with various flavors, like ginger-pepper bitters in a Sunday morning Bloody Mary or springtime Margarita. “One of my favorite drinks ever–at Summit in New York– had sarsaparilla bitters,” Chura said. “It was essential to giving that drink its root beer flavors.”

And speaking of root beer, Chura also makes sodas in house, including his beloved root beer, and a collection of mocktails so delicious you won’t even miss the kick. Check out the cocktail list here.

Big Easy Cocktail