Celebrate National Vodka Day at these LIC cocktail bars

National Vodka Day is on Oct. 4 and Long Island City is home to several cocktail bars, including Ukrainian-restaurant Bear, where vodka lovers can celebrate the holiday.
Photo courtesy of Bear

Vodka lovers will have an excuse to consume their favorite distilled beverage on Oct. 4 as part of National Vodka Day.

The concoction accounts for 20 to 25 percent of spirits sold in North America and passed bourbon as America’s favorite spirit in the 1970s.

Long Island City residents looking to quench their thirst on the holiday have several options:

Bear, a Ukranian restaurant located at 12-14 31st Ave., offers several daily specials and a complimentary Bloody Mary with every entrée. Sasha Pogrebinsky, head mixologist and beverage director, creates handcrafted vodka infusions and cocktails with fresh, local ingredients. The St. Dill and the Classic Pogrebinsky were created at the LIC restaurant and can be found in bars around the world.

The St. Dill mixes mustard seeds, dill sprigs and a snappy kosher dill set in vodka to create a twist on the classic dirty martini. The Classic Pogrebinsky is the only cocktail in the United States that uses birch sap, according to Pogrebinsky.

“Growing up as a kid in Kiev Natasha and I used to run through birch forests and play games, we used to drink fresh birch sap – which tastes like lightly sweet water, freshly tapped,” Pogrebinsky said. “And we’d chew on the inside of the birch tree, which was sweet, and edible.   This cocktail is classic, it is refined, and I named it after my family name, because it is unique.”

Dutch Kills, located at 27-24 Jackson Ave., offers a vodka gimlet with vodka, fresh lime juice and simple syrup, the Vodka Fix, which substitutes the lime juice with lemon juice, and a Moscow Mule with lime juice, house-made ginger syrup and soda water.

The Standing Room, a cocktail bar and comedy club where comedians like “The Daily Show” correspondent Ricky Velez are set to perform, offers signature libations that incorporate natural elements, such as flowers, cucumbers, bell peppers, beets, smoke and fire. It is located at 47-38 Vernon Blvd.

Visit the National Vodka Day website for more information about the holiday and for a history lesson on the spirit.