Paula Lukas Rocks with Brass in Pocket

paula lukas


Paula Lukas did a lot of theater as a kid but ultimately chose to work in hospitality. For the last 20 years, she’s been crafting cocktails, managing bars, and helping labels like Smoke Lab Vodka stay on brand. She names her drinks after songs because people can relate to the music—and it’s fun.

Paula Lukas: How the hell did you come up with this drink?

I did it a couple of years ago on my menu at Nur, a two-star Israeli restaurant in NYC. I wanted to use some middle eastern spice. I wanted to use sumac. I always have rim my cocktails. I was trying to think of what goes with the food—what’s used in Middle Eastern and North African influences? Apricot is in some of the dishes, so apricot liqueur; rye cause it doesn’t have the sweetness of the corn; thyme is in it. I used to shake it with a bit of thyme and garnish it with thyme.

Brass in Pocket by Paula Lukas.

Cocktail: Brass in Pocket


1.5 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 oz Giffard Abricot du Rouissillon
.5 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
.5 oz lemon juice
2 dashes of Regan’s orange bitters 
.5 tsp Sumac – half-rim
1 spring of thyme – garnish


Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice.

Shake and strain into a coupe that has been half-rimmed with sumac.

Garnish with a slapped sprig of thyme.