1928 Cocktail Club
1016-1018 Main Street
Word has traveled fast about 1928 Cocktail Club, Connecticut’s latest speakeasy bar. Opened in June 2022 by Co-owners Frank Dean and his father-in-law, Tony Cuomo, the venue transports guests back to the era of Prohibition with its Roaring ’20s atmosphere and exceptional cocktails. Situated in Branford’s picturesque town center, the Jazz Era vibe begins at the facade door, where there is a sliding window, reminiscent of the days of Prohibition when a password was needed for revelers to enter a sneaky speakeasy. Inside, guests will find an upscale experience, from its fine decor to its mix of classic and new craft cocktails slung by an expert bar team. “We leave it up to the bartenders to be creative,” Dean said. “[They] are able to bring their own spin to certain things … We’re really big on signatures, we have what we call Dealer’s Choice, where you pick the spirit, you pick the flavor profiles and the bartenders will whip it up for you.” Vested and bow-tied bartenders, red leather banquettes and embellished Art Deco light sconces are among touches that add to the venue’s transportive ambiance.
Bartender: Andres Santiago Monroy
Cocktail: Harvest Moon
» 1.5 oz. Bumbu Rum
» .75 oz. Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur
» .25 oz. Taconic Distillery Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
» 3 oz. heavy cream
» 1 oz. Licor 43
» Garnish: sprinkle of nutmeg
Method: Add rum, coffee liqueur and maple syrup into a mixing glass with ice. Mix and strain into a glass. Add heavy cream and Licor 43 to a shaker. Shake for about 30 seconds. Spoon whipped cream carefully on top of the cocktail. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
The venue’s Harvest Moon cocktail is “a riff on a classic,” said Bartender Andres Santiago Monroy. “It’s a very festive, seasonal dessert cocktail, definitely a nice nightcap.” The cocktail was inspired by its namesake fall phenomenon. “The harvest moon that comes in the fall, that first real fall night, that big moon,” said Frank Dean, Co-owner, 1928 Cocktail Club.
“That’s essentially what the cocktail looked like. The cream foam is the pinnacle of it; the dark part like the surroundings of the moon.” And after dinner or a night out, “Everybody’s looking for espresso martinis and this is a great substitute,” Dean said.