Painkiller on a normal weekend night is very different from the Christmas evening Saturday when my trio, the only patrons for a solid hour, equaled the number of staff. Now, they’ve revamped the menu, explicitly listing all the cocktail possibilities in a fun Chinese take-out motif. Even so, the ingredients aren’t listed. I just took a chance (I didn’t want to wait for our very nice and very busy waitress to ask the bar what this cocktail contained) on the SW8 a.k.a. Hell in the Pacific because the name was appropriately full of swagger. It appeared to be a strong rum-based drink, its force masked by the innocent blush of grenadine. That’s an iteration of a Suffering Bastard in the stubbier tiki glass with a crafty palm tree garnish. It’s not easy capturing the cocktails’ colors in the back room with lights changing from blue to red periodically. I couldn’t decide, which unnatural hue I prefererd.
Painkiller * 49 Essex St., New York, NY