Dive Bar Jukebox: Autumn Feels with Frank Caiafa
"Nothing more important than to know someone's listening."
Welcome to Dive Bar Jukebox, where bartenders, writers, chefs, musicians, and a cast of cool characters answer the question: If we were hanging out together at a bar and I put ten credits on the jukebox, what songs would you punch in and why? The answers reveal thoughts on their favorite dive bars along with a hand-picked, annotated playlist for your weekend listening pleasure.
Today’s Dive Bar Jukebox is free to all readers thanks to the generous support of St. Agrestis.
You could say that Brooklyn’s St. Agrestis is a bit obsessed with the Negroni, which co-owner Louie Catizone considers “the world’s greatest cocktail.”
In the spring of 2018, St. Agrestis introduced the St. Agrestis Negroni—a perfectly balanced, bitter, and spirit-forward bottled cocktail—which has since been joined by several stylish, ready-to-drink formats of Italy’s iconic cocktail, including the award-winning, first-of-its-kid nonalcoholic Phony Negroni.
Launched in January 2022, the Phony Negroni is the perfect option for when you aren’t drinking or just want the convenience and quality of a ready-to-drink, spirit-free Negroni.
The St. Agrestis Phony Negroni is softly carbonated, sweetened with cane sugar, and made with 30 botanicals—including gentian, hibiscus, juniper, and seven different types of citrus—and can be enjoyed directly from the bottle or poured over ice with an orange twist.
You can find the Phony Negroni in all 48 contiguous states and at retailers like Boisson and top bars and restaurants such as Amor y Amargo, Death & Co., Roberta’s, The Red Hen (Washington, DC), Avec (Chicago), Multnomah Whiskey Library (Portland, Oregon), and Husk (Nashville).
Now, please welcome back today’s special guest…
Tomorrow marks the official first day of fall, and I’m happy to welcome back Brooklyn-born Frank Caiafa, who makes his return to Dive Bar Jukebox to mark the change of seasons with a thoughtful, wistful, and at times existential playlist to set the mood for the shorter days and darker nights that lie ahead.
Caiafa is now the Spirits Portfolio Director at Banville Wine Merchants, but he’s had a storied career as a bartender in New York City, working at saloons and landmark hotel bars. And he’s the author of The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, which was a 2017 James Beard Award finalist and nominated for a 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for Best New Cocktail and Bartending Book.
Through his beverage and hospitality consulting enterprise, Handle Bars NYC / Global Inc., Caiafa has been called upon for his expertise on a wide array of concepts strategizing on all aspects of operations, including third-party staffing, brand representation, recipe and menu development and design, education and training, bar layout and design, and more.
Read on for his baker’s dozen Autumn Feels playlist.
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