East Hampton’s elegant Sunset Harbor was the perfect backdrop for Thomas Ashbourne to host the latest celebrity bartending experience in the Hamptons with Neil Patrick Harris.
Of course, we in the Hamptons know our neighbor Neil and husband David are out and about in the Hamptons, but you usually don’t expect to see an A-list celebrity tending bar. Real deal; Neil Patrick Harris was a great bartender. He had flair and confidence, but most importantly, speed. Oh, and obvi, the drinks by Thomas Ashbourne were perfect!
Meeting Neil and seeing him graciously taking photos and hamming it up with fans was a treat. I’m happy to report that Neil Patrick Harris’ signature look—self-assured, maybe playful, like he’s about to spill the tea—is true in real life! I think Neil will remember me as the cool guy who didn’t ask him to pose for a photo; my editor will remember me as the guy who failed to get a picture with the celebrity at the celebrity event. Live and learn, I guess!
“Wildly Distinctive,” Thomas Ashbourne’s ready-to-sip cocktails absolutely lived up to their headline. Each of their classic cocktails was curated in collaboration with their prestigious partners, creating a collection of beverages whose taste and sophistication are unmatched.
The more I learned about Thomas Ashbourne, the brand—and the booze—the more I understood what has made them such a chic and in-demand drink for the Summer. They’re a women-led company with a culture of sustainability, and all their cocktails are made in small batches; right here in the U.S., who can’t get behind that?
All of Thomas Ashbourne’s spirits are crafted by a celebrity tastemaker. You already know we tried them all!
First up, the Margalicious Margaritas by Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, and Ashley Benson. My date and I agree: just right—not too sweet, not too sour—exactly what you want in the early evening in the Hamptons—next, The Perfect Cosmo by SJP. There are only two people allowed to define the Perfect Cosmo. Those two people are Sarah Jessica Parker and Carrie Bradshaw.
Finally, the After Hours Espresso Martini after dinner. The real star of the show. 10 of 10. No Notes, Neil. Only maybe can I have another? Don’t worry, bartenders; we gave NPH a break and decided it best to wait for a shift change before ordering our espresso martinis.
Thomas Ashbourne included 2 bonus cans of the prebatched cocktails, so I did a little side-by-side comparison to assess Neil’s (we’re on a first-name basis now) bartending mettle.
I know my public looks to me for hard-hitting Hamptons journalism—to ask the hard questions and follow the facts where they lead me. So, how do Neil Patrick Harris’ cocktails compare to Thomas Ashbourne’s signature craft-cocktail series?
Pretty dang good! Obviously, Thomas Ashbourne’s craft spirits are distilled with premium ingredients that deliver elevated flavors, so that always helps. The biggest difference was definitely that Mr. Harris is a light pour, which was appreciated since I “needed” to try all three of the drinks for journalistic integrity, of course.
Neil’s Hamptons cred needs no introduction, and the event organizers definitely know how to host a celebrity bartending event. If you want to have a party in the Hamptons, you’d better bring in the Rum Punch Mafia to play. What a difference a live band makes compared to a DJ; good on you.
Thomas Ashbourne and Sunset Harbor generously invited me and plus 1, my beautiful girlfriend/photographer/food expert. Unsurprisingly, Sunset Harbor has some of the best sunsets in the Hamptons, overlooking the gorgeous East Hampton Point Marina. Our table was prime real estate, perfectly positioned between the peaceful sunset unfolding outside and the happy laughter of fans getting to meet the celebrity bartender inside.
Sunset Harbor’s menu is mostly designed for sharing, which I love. Sharing plates and tastes makes dinner so much more interactive and social. The kitchen hooked us up with so much good food, more than I could eat or write about, but I promise a taste is worth a thousand words. Did I mention that it was surprisingly affordable?
Two of my favorite appetizers:
Crispy Tuna Rice—So much flavor and texture; if you’re going to get Tuna, get it in the Hamptons!
Wagyu Tacos—You know you love Wagyu; you know you love tacos; it’s not rocket science.
After a torrent of appetizers, the short ribs entree came out like a festival headliner. Firstly, the meat is so perfectly tender, cut it with a spoon. Savory and smooth, without overpowering the beautiful cut of meat. Served with bibb lettuce so you can make little wraps (I love this) and mustard that is—and I mean this as a compliment—Loony Tunes spicy (like, smoke out the ears spice).
Front and back of the house, service was all hands on deck for the celebrity bartending event, and they absolutely crushed it! (Hopefully, the manager reads this). Our server was always on hand, and the kitchen kept her busy—they just kept sending us more apps! Shout out Marvin, for having a contagious smile and the best kind of energy.
Personal ‘thank you’ to Thomas Ashbourne and NPH for the drinks and Sunset Harbor for the unforgettable meal! Especially great because my girlfriend was a bit disappointed not to be at the Beyonce concert, but sushi and Thomas Ashbourne cocktails crafted by THE Neil Patrick Harris heal all FOMO.