Johnny Swet of Brooklyn's new Grand Republic Cocktail Club dubs his nightcap of choice a Short and a Long.

Johnny Swet
Credit: Ben Hinder

Some barmen close out their nights with a stiff classic cocktail; others, something a little more innovative. But for others still, it’s much simpler. When you’re shaking up elaborate cocktails every night, sometimes you just crave a shot and a beer.

For Johnny Swet, head mixologist of Brooklyn’s new Grand Republic Cocktail Club? His perfect nightcap is what he dubs “A Short and a Long” — that’d be a short pour of a light, easy-drinking pilsner and a long pour of Montenegro Amaro. "I call it my Ambien," says Swet.

A shot of whiskey is the usual counterpart to an inexpensive beer; why this particular combination? After a bar shift, the gently bittersweet amaro is calming, while the beer is “almost like an alcoholic Alka-Seltzer,” says Swet — settling his system after a long night. As a Pennsylvania native, he says, “my Pilsner of choice is Rolling Rock, for sentimental reasons."

Swet is a fan of amari in general, and Montenegro most of all, using it in cocktails like the “King Kong” (which unites the amaro with muddled banana, banana liqueur, and gold rum) at Grand Republic Cocktail Club. “It’s a smooth amaro, spicy, bitter, and a little sweet all at the same time.”

A worthy nightcap in itself — but a cold bottle of Rolling Rock can never hurt.