Bourbon and Butchery

Manhattan Cocktail Classic at Cannibal NYC


“We can’t butcher it till it has a name,” said the chef at The Cannibal, a Murray Hill bar, which also has a full butcher shop.


“How about Freddy?” someone decided for the rest of the crowd.


“Okay, Freddy,” said the chef, grabbing the small pig by the front and rear legs, examining all of its parts.


I thought that we were just going to eat pork and drink Makers Mark at this event called Meat Your Maker, which was a part of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic festival. But instead, the foodies and cocktail lovers were discovering the masochist inside them as the chef handled the blade.


Butchering a Pig at a Cocktail Event


First he removed the shoulders, slicing through the pig as if it were as soft as bread. “The head’s next,” he said before decapitating Freddy and posing him for the crowd. “Head cheese is where it’s at.”


Bourbon and Butchery at Cannibal NYC


When he cut through the pork neck, he announced that he would “confit it.”


Then he lined the cleaver up alongside the vertebrae and used a mallet to separate the meat. “The bone is for stock.”


My friend Lee leaned over and said, “We should have done this in biology instead of dissecting a frog.”


We watched him remove the ribs, the livers, the belly, the loin. Off went its feet. Then this little piggy was just hams strapped to the H Bone. “We’re left with the tail,” he said, showing everyone the pig’s last remains.


Poor tail, I thought, just going to waste.


“I would use this, too,” said the chef.


The butchery was less savage than I had imagined. It was respectful and artsy. And anyone who felt a little upset, quickly drowned away their sorrows with excellent Makers cocktails and appetizers de Freddy, like smoke Kielbasa with sauerkraut and mustard, crisp and juicy porky belly rillons with gribiche, which were as good as the pork belly I ate at SPQR in San Francisco, pulled pork with Makers 46 BBQ sauce, buttery rilletes on filone, and mini pigs head Cuban sandwiches. Most of the cocktails were phenomenal except for Campfire, Makers attempt to mix Smore ingredients with liquor.


After The Cannibal, Lee and I stumbled across town to the Campari party at Gallows Green, where the Sleep No More show takes place. Unlike the low-key butchery I had witnessed, this event featured DJs, the lavishly dressed, and a bar lined with endless Campari cocktails. There was even a staged wedding and delicious passed hors d’ouvres, which made the evening quite festive and hangover just a tad less heavy.

Photos by Lee Boy

Posted on by Noah Lederman in I Ate What?

9 Responses to Bourbon and Butchery

  1. lee boy

    Alas, poor Freddy, I knew him well.

  2. Sam

    Like all butchers……they’re skills with a knife is rather impressive. Good eating and reading.

  3. lee boy

    what, no nod to my Hamlet reference, look at the second picture.

  4. Jon

    This leeboy character is a great paparazzo

    • Noah Lederman

      Yes, however, I believe that pig would have lived if he hadn’t pursued it.

  5. Danny Delnison

    I don’t think i can see directly.

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