The JakeWalk* is a pioneer of the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. In 2008, it became one of the first establishments in the area to attempt the spirits/cocktail/wine bar hybrid, as a sister bar to nearby Smith and Vine wine and Stinky Brooklyn cheese shops. Since then, it sits firmly in place as a pillar of the Smith St. Barmuda Triangle. Since its early days, this pretty corner room with ornate, rococo details such as flocked wallpaper and a gargantuan brass-framed mirror above the back bar, has grown into itself as a bonafide cocktail destination that also happens to be a casual neighborhood bar beloved by industry folks who can often be found there when off duty. The impressive drinks menu made from a vast, well-chosen craft spirits inventory changes seasonally, and depending on the time of year, could include items such as the apple-spicy Mr. October, a frothy stout cocktail known as the Stark Winter and a rummy drink called the Swashbuckler's Folly. Bar manager Tim Miner and head bartender Bryan Teoh, as well as all of their talented bar staff, are also skilled at shaking and stirring off menu for whatever mood may strike. Of particular note is the Negroni in T Minor - a softened and near chocolatey version of the classic using Hayman's Old Tom Gin, Aperol and Carpano Antica.
But it's not just about cocktails. They also keep a well-rounded whisk(e)y selection that covers pretty much all the bases of grain distillate from around the world from Scotch to bourbon to Japanese and beyond. Wines by the glass represent a few global wine regions, like a little delicious ambassador to each one, with an even more well-rounded by the bottle menu. There is also a selection of craft beers by the bottle.
If you're going to drink that well, it's important to have something to eat well with it. Outstanding charcuterie and cheese boards with selections from nearby Stinky come in varying sizes for solo snacking or group sharing. Other menu items such as pulled pork sandwiches, pastas and cheesy vegetable dishes change throughout the year, with brunch on Sundays.
Look out for weekday evening happy hour and wine specials, as well as weekend cheese pairing and cocktail classes, and other special events on Saturday afternoons.
*From the Jakewalk website: "One of the more tragic aspects of Prohibition was known as the “Jake Walk”— a peculiar, stiff-legged gait that afflicted people who had been drinking Jamaica Ginger, an alcohol-based patent medicine that turned out to have been contaminated with a neurotoxin as a result of the efforts made by the shady characters who were marketing it to come up with a formula that would get by the Dry authorities."
Luckily no one has to resort to that anymore, especially there.