Celebrating Martini Wisdom with Martinis of Course

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Roini Jenkins and Cheryl Benton, authors of Martini Wisdom with Dave Ortiz, owner of Our New York/Vodka after hanging the “martini ladies” portraits.

What a fabulous evening we had last night surrounded by friends and feeling so loved and supported. We could not have been more proud to have our book event party for Martini Wisdom at this fabulous location and the reveal of three of our posters of the iconic Martini Ladies that will now hang on walls of this great vodka distillery and bar, Our/New York Vodka. Special thanks to Randie Levine-Miller, Merrill Stone, and Nicole Gut for helping us do the readings. And thanks to Dave for giving us a tour of the distillery too.

Mother daughter duo, Roni Jenkins and Cheryl Benton, co-authors of Martini Wisdom.

The owner, Dave Ortiz, couldn’t have been nicer and more accommodating to our group. His backstory as a serial entrepreneur launching a sneaker company (he even designed products for Nike and Vans), and skateboard company seemed an odd fit to jump into the distillery business. But the folks at Our vodka didn’t see that as a stretch.

The creative New York prodigy was recruited as a partner for the project by a scout who reached out to Ortiz while he was running popular downtown sneaker, skate and bike boutiques Dave’s Quality Meat and Dave’s Wearhouse.

Our/New York is the first distillery in Manhattan since Prohibition. All are small-batch distilleries that depend mostly on the local water for the differences, and we all know how awesome New York City tap water is. They could have had a much easier time opening in Brooklyn or the Bronx, where the fire code restrictions weren’t as strict as in Manhattan with the large buildings, but Dave was up for the challenge. He didn’t want to be another hipster bar in the Hipster boroughs of NYC.

Dave had gone to FIT, right up the road, and took a sculpture class right in this very building back when it was the Sculpture house. When he was out scouting locations for the distillery he walked in and immediately recognized it as somewhere he had been 20 years earlier in college. It is as if his life has come full circle.

Designed to look like New York City in a gray and blue color scheme, the place is warm, inviting with industrial lighting, several bar tables and lounge seating in addition to the bar itself. The bottles are small and the label is minimalist to let the Vodka shine through. All bottles are hand bottled and crafted right here in that Chelsea location. Dave even mentioned that he and another co-worker challenged each other to a competition to see how many bottles they could complete in one day. Dave was able to get over 500 bottles and his coworker had over seven hundred in a single day. All bottled themselves.

The 80 proof is smooth and the East River Martini was the best dirty martini we’ve ever had. The bottles are a little bit smaller in 375ml versus your typical 750 and go for $23.99. Worth every penny not only for the taste but the love and pride of NYC that goes into it. We wish Dave all the best, we’ll definitely be back, and encourage Tomatoes to go get their vodka on and visit our Martini ladies hanging proudly on the wall.

Our/ New York is located at 151 West 26th Street, New York, New York.

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