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Manhattan Moonshine

Will Kehler Headshot – photo by Andrew Werner

Manhattan Moonshine looks sophisticated and is made in New York making this home grown, but this white whiskey has a mission. Launched in 2015 Manhattan Moonshine is the product of a unique blend of fine New York grains, which do not need significant aging for flavor purposes. The drink is 95 proof, and received the highest rating of any white whiskey or moonshine in the world from Whisky Advocate. T2C talked to CEO and owner Will Kehler.

T2C: Why Whiskey?

Will Kehler: My background is in new product development and I have always been a whiskey lover. I tried a lot of whiskey’s that were horrible. Silver tequila is great, silver rum is great so why not a white whiskey? So I decided to create my own.

T2C: What made you pick the name Manhattan Moonshine? It is such a great name?

Will Kehler: Most people don’t realize what we are trying to do. I wanted to create the best moonshine possible and we wanted legitimacy in this category that was known for being harsh, cheap and not very good. Entering probation, distilleries were shot down. In Manhattan alone there were 30,000 to 60,000 speakeasies during probation. I was born and raised in Manhattan so it comes full circle.

T2C: It’s not from Annie Get Your Gun?

Will Kehler: No.

T2C: What makes your whiskey different from other brands?

Will Kehler: We only aged for about one hour or less. This means that our whiskey has none of the barrel flavors. It is lighter and more veritable.

T2C: You distill in small batches. Does that make each batch a collector’s item?

Will Kehler: Every bottle of Manhattan Moonshine is a collectors item. Actually each bottle is made to be consistent so you are always getting the same great taste.

T2C: Can you lead you us through that process?

Manhattan Moonshine

Distillery Photo (Photo credit – Manhattan Moonshine)

Will Kehler: We use a four grain blend, using oats and rye. We primarily seep the grains in hot water to convert from yeast into alcohol. Then we use a distillation to allow the alcohol to be taken out of that and that rests in an oak bottle for an hour. Then we put it in stainless steal to settle. This allows the long chain of flavors to come out.

T2C: Why do you not use corn?

Will Kehler: Almost every white whiskey or bourbon that uses corn to age the flavors come through in the taste. Corn based whiskey has a grass flavor to it. Novelty, but it is not doing anything different. By not using corn Manhattan Moonshine doesn’t have a smoked flavor and heavy barrel flavors attached to it.

T2C: The Bottle looks art nouveau? Is it designed after anything iconic?

Will Kehler: One of the major styles during prohibition was art deco. The Channel perfume bottle from the 1920 and the decanters inspired our bottle. We wanted every element of our product to be obvious different. We wanted a higher quality. The Empire State building and the Chrysler building were built during that time.

T2C: What is your favorite way to drink Manhattan Moonshine?

Will Kehler: In an Old Fashion. Old Fashions are a perfect way to bring out the flavors. The bitters in it highlight and augment the complexities of the whiskey.

T2C: What is your favorite recipe?

Manhattan Moonshine

Lavender Smash (Photo Credit – Manhattan Moonshine)

Will Kehler: I have two. For summer a Lavender Smash. To make it you use 41/2 oz of Manhattan Moonshine, add lavender syrup and lemon juice and finish with tonic water. This combination shows off the flavors. For fall a Manhattan Sunshine. Again starting with 41/2 oz of Manhattan Moonshine, lemon juice, simple syrup, finish with IPA beer and garnish with cinnamon.

T2C: Were your parents or Grandparent involved? Is this a family run business handed down by generations?

Will Kehler: My family on different sides has an alleged past running liquor of various kinds. We don’t really talk about it because it was illegal at the time. Half the family allegedly smuggling rum out of the Bahamas and another part was alleged running various liquor from Canada. Alleged and lore are not part of this historical record because supposable they never got caught and of course it was illegal. It took two years to perfect the recipe and as I was doing so my family was extremely helpful.

T2C: What would you like our audiences to know about you?

Will Kehler: My passion is whiskey and I found a category that needed my mission to make it the best. We corrected that. We are the highest rated Whiskey in the World and we are pretty proud of that.


Manhattan Moonshine sells for $45 a bottle.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

Food and Drink

Ubah Hassan and Serafina Launch the Sizzling Hot Pizza of the Season



Oh, bring on the heat! We got to try the new amazing UBAH HOT Pizza at Serafina. And we can say with ease it will sizzle your senses and make you soar with delight! If you like sexy, saucy, and spicy all served up in one dish this pizza was made for you!

“Real Housewives of New York” star and founder of UBAH HOT, Ubah Hassan, teamed up with  Vittorio Assaf and  Fabio Granato of Serafina Restaurant Group to launch  this incredible dish. Using a superb habanero infused san marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte mozzarella, finely sliced habanero and basil julienne, this divinely constructed margherita pizza is the one you will have on speed dial for deliveries or on you go to for lunch breaks at all 13 of Serafina’s New York City locations.

“Embracing gluten with gratitude, because honestly, pizza’s the reigning champ of mood-lifting eats!” said Ubah Hassan. “Whether it’s a solo munch session or a party with pals, no matter the temperature, the pizza vibe is HOT. And those primo ingredients at Serafina’s? They’ve turned me into an even bigger fan.”

Every bite is lovely and the spice is just right. Sometimes with innovative dishes like this the heat can overwhelm. But, here the carefully constructed balance pleases your taste buds and your appetite all at once. It’s not heavy – just super tasty and makes for a perfect meal.

Serafina Restaurant Group is known for high-energy dining, where you could find boldface names dining under the eye-catching yellow awnings throughout the world. Founded by Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato in 1995, the collection of eateries started with Serafina Fabulous Pizza on the Upper East Side. Following the success, the duo expanded across Manthan and into a global presence including its sister brands, Farinella, Brasserie Cognac and Tokugawa.

This partnership is a natural fit as Hassan is longtime friends of Serafina Restaurant Group owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato. Channeling her zest for life Hassan also created a hot sauce company in 2021 to elevate her healthy diet with African flavor. To pay homage to UBAH HOT, Hassan worked with the Serafina team to create a tomato sauce that included habanero peppers to spice up its flavor. To tie in her passion for healthy eating Serafina crafts their pizza dough with Italian doppio zero flour or “00” flour which is similar to a sough dough. The dough rests for 72 hours which results in a much lighter, crispier and easier to digest pizza. 

“Fabio and I met Ubah several years ago when she first arrived in New York for her modeling career. We were both mesmerized by wonderful personality and contagious energy. We talked about her passion for food for hours and about her dream to develop a super spicy habanero sauce,” said co-founder Vittorio Assaf.

Visit to find out where to try UBAH HOT Pizza today!


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The Pepsi 125 Diner



In celebrating its 125th birthday, Pepsi is opening a unique pop-up restaurant for a limited time in NYC.

The Pepsi 125 Diner will open at a location in Midtown Manhattan TBA on October 19 and remain open until October 25. The secret entrance promises to be “instagram worthy.” The Pepsi themed American diner will serve timeless diner inspired dishes alongside a vast selection of Pepsi inspired offerings.

This fascinating immersive journey will have you traveling back in time through every era of Pepsi and get a glimpse into the future! A 3-course meal will consist of delectable diner classics with an innovative Pepsi twist. Specially crafted cocktails and mocktails will also be available. This experience states it goes beyond food and drink but brings together the connection between Pepsi and the world of pop music and culture through spectacular performances and rare memorabilia.

The diner is open to all ages with a duration time of approximately two hours. Ticket prices are set to start at $50, this will include appetizer, entree, dessert, and unlimited Pepsi soft drinks.

Tickets went on sale to the public and were snatched up ASAP, however there is a waitlist at

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Food and Drink

White Wine for Summer Send Off




It is hard to believe that summer is officially wrapping up. But as days get shorter there is still plenty of time to toast the season in style with these favorite white wines.

Kenwood Vineyards Six Ridges Chardonnay 2019

This refreshing chardonnay crisp apple and crunchy peach flavors is electrifying and oh, so yummy! It brings out the feeling of velvet caressing you. This is simmply all of the best the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County has to offer.

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc


Divinely balanced wine with zesty aromas and highlights of pink grapefruit, melon and gooseberry. It refreshing and perfectly sweet. Every sip will have you singing praises to the wonderful summer you just had.

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Beatles Brunch at City Winery Where Strawberry Fields Lives Forever



I was taken to City Winery by Eli Marcus for the Beatles Brunch with Strawberry Fields.
This show plays every Sunday with an unlimited brunch buffet that includes coffee, tea and juice, starting at noon. A bottomless brunch cocktail package is also available and children get in free. Here tourists mingle with New Yorkers, eating scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, dried out French toast, spicy potatoes with onions and peppers, perfectly done chicken, salad and fresh fruit. What is so nice, is that everyone seems happy to to be here, to see and hear the Fab Four.

Eli Marcus, Suzanna Bowling

The show starts off without fan fare. The lights dim and four men enter, not quite looking like the originals. Tony Garofalo (John Lennon), Billy J. Ray (Paul McCartney), Ira Siegel (George Harrison), and Michael Bellusci (Ringo Starr) and their costumes and wigs have seen better days. Then the music starts. You can watch one of our video’s here.

From the early hits like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” “Ticket To Ride” “Eight Days A Week” and more the first act is nostalgia at it’s best. It was adorable to watch the audience, especially the young ones “Twist and Shout.”

After a break in came the Sergeant Pepper era, clothing and all. From that we got “Nowhere Man,” “My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “When I’m 64,” “Penny Lane” and songs that dig into your soul. They are done well and the Beatles live again. You can see our video here.

Then the later songs like “I Am The Walrus” and “Don’t Let Me Down” end a show that is almost two hour long of music, that is classic. I have to admit I wanted to hear “Blackbird” and “Norwegian Wood,” but what you get is a  well rounded assortment of those songs that shaped several era’s.

Billy J. Ray, Ira Siegel

Ira Siegel stands out with his guitar playing that is out of this world. I really loved all the songs he sang as well.

Michael Bellusci

Michael Bellusci, gives Ringo a run for his money on the drums.

Tony Garofalo

Tony Garofalo is the founder, creator and producer playing rhythm and lead guitar and singing lead vocals along with Alan LeBoeuf from the original Beatlemania playing bass guitar. Ray looks the most like the Beatle he is playing.

Alan LeBoeuf, Ira Siegel

Alan LeBoeuf, Ira Siegel

Alan LeBoeuf

Strawberry Fields has been covering The Beatles for over three decades. They used to have a residency at B.B. Kings, but these days their home base is City Winery and it is definitely a great way to spend a Sunday. All four are consummate musicians and obviously have a love for what they do and that rubs off on their audience.

For a souvenir up a City Winery Strawberry Fields Rose Wine and have it signed by the cast. With its is its strawberry pink color, you get a combination of kiwi, watermelon and the taste of strawberry that lingers.

City Winery is right next to Little Island, Chelsea Market, The Highline, the Meatpacking district, Chelsea, and West Village. Everything is nearby to make a perfect outing for the whole day and this is one brunch where you definitely get your money’s worth. Click HERE for tickets

Tickets are $65.45

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A Fun Night at Dave and Buster’s 42nd Street



Thank-you again to Eli Marcus and the staff of Dave and Buster’s, at 234 West 42nd Street.

Eli Marcus

Eli was sending the concierge’s to the show The Shark Is Broken.

The producers of The Shark Must Be Broken, Eli Marcus and the general manager of Dave and Buster’s

There were lots of new friends to be made such as Carol Mennie, Caroline Rosado from the Hilton, Dinnella Collado from the Washington Square Hotel, Benjamin Maddy from Dave and Buster’s and Michaela Paratore of Benjamin Steakhouse Prime

Michaela Paratore

This destination for sports enthusiasts, foodies, and arcade offers space, fun and some fabulous happy hour deals.

All across the multiple screens were football, basketball, and hockey games from across the sporting world. At the sports bar an impressive selection of drinks, including craft beers, signature cocktails await. I sampled some their tasty bites and was impressed.


Pretzel Dogs

To sooth your inner child air hockey and arcade games are waiting to be played.

Margarita and I playing for Make A Wish

If you are looking for entertainment they have a legendary Trivia Night with fantastic prizes.

Double Pepperoni Flatbread


BBQ Chicken Flatbread

This is actually a great place to throw your holiday parties.

Fire-Grilled Atlantic Salmon

Boneless Wings

Chocolate- and caramel-filled churros with chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauces.

I am so glad the Mayor of Times Square invited me to his event.

Margarita Parlionas and Eli Marcus

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