Friday, May 2, 2008

Field Trip - Beretta

The buzz about the cocktail program for the recently opened Beretta built fairly quickly. Word had it that several of the city's top bartenders would be manning the plank. After hearing a fair amount of post-opening praise for the drinks, I finally got my ass over there a few weeks ago. If I had any worries that the place might not live up to the hype, they vanished instantly upon my sitting down and glimpsing the shining beacon of tasty cocktails that is Erik Adkins of Slanted Door fame.

Perusing the menu, it took me about 6 seconds to lock onto the Dolores Park Swizzle. Rum, lime, maraschino, absinthe, and bitters? Yes please! I really need to either get a better camera phone, or start lugging the digital camera Ed lent me around cause this is a seriously good looking drink. Erik explained that the drink would be a bit "hot" at first, and advised me that I might want to give it a little bit of time for the crushed ice to melt in and mellow the drink. If you've learned anything about me by now, you already know that I didn't wait one damn second to hit that bad boy.

It was quite tasty, but it was indeed hot, and I got the feeling that the ingredients weren't quite showing each other the love yet. So I grudgingly decided to wait a few seconds as Erik recommended. Those were some painful seconds, but I was richly rewarded, because the Dolores Park Swizzle is flat out, fucking amazing. The aromatics from the mint and bitters made for a fantastic lead in to the drink itself. As the ice melted more, the bitters slowly leached into the drink adding an extra layer of flavor that kept it from tasting too watered down. Not that it was around long enough for the ice to melt.

As I was happily sipping away on my Swizzle, I was glancing over the menu thinking about what I would get next. It was not an easy decision to make seeing as all the drinks on the menu looked good, and the first made it painfully obvious that these folks were executing them with insane precision. Fortunately, fate took the choice out of my hand as Erik popped over to see how the drink was, and promptly insisted that I would have to have an Agricole Mule before I left. Whatever you say sir!

A simple combination of rum, lime, ginger, and mint this drink was a great example of the simple cocktail. I could definitely see the (I assume) homage to the classic Moscow Mule (a fantastic cocktail in its own right), but unlike it's ancestor, this drink brought a little more to the party.

I wanted to stick around for some more (Rattlesnake or Monte Carlo anybody?), but sadly the time had come for me to go. Oh well, guess I'll just have to go back. Life is hard.

Comments always welcome or feel free to e-mail us at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.

No comments: