Monday, June 2, 2008

Field Trip - Enrico's

When the good Mr. Nepove recently informed me that not only had he revamped the cocktail menu at the venerable Enrico's, but was stepping back behind the bar, I knew I was going to have to make a trip to North Beach to see what his hands had wrought. As I looked over the menu (not yet updated on the website unfortunately) I was interested to find that it was well rounded for the Enrico's clientele. With its location and history, Enrico's draws a pretty mixed crowd of old school regulars, hipsters, and tourists. The menu contains a spectrum of drinks so that most types will find something they like (or feel safe with), but all still look to retain a sense of well thought out execution. But enough of my prattling -- On to the drinks!

I decided to start off with a Hemmingway Daiquiri. I'm a bit over the moon for maraschino liqueur, and am quite the fan of the Daiquiri, so this variation is a favorite. The building of the drink was halted midway with a growl from David. "Let me guess," I said. "You're out of Luxardo?" After a bit of searching around, he confirmed that such was indeed the case. I decided it would be a shame to waste the already poured booze so I decided to improvise and asked him if he would mind throwing in some St. Germain. While I was expecting a very different kind of drink, I thought it would at least be tasty. I was wrong. St. Germain is just too much for this drink -- The floral notes of it clash with the grapefruit, and the rum ends up just sort of lazing about like debutante on a fainting couch.

Looking over the other drinks for something to soothe my battered tongue, I lingered for a bit on the Basil Gimlet. Savory drinks have been popping up on San Francisco cocktail menus for a while now, and while I like that trend I've never been that interested in the likes of this drink. I decided that I was just being a dick about the whole thing and went for it. A nice touch for this particular drink is that the option of Vodka vs. Gin is offered. I, of course, went for the Gin, and was glad I went for the drink as well. The basil worked well as an earthy foundation for the botanicals of the gin, and the lime juice gave the drink a nice, tart, brightness.

As I was working on my Gimlet David started talking about some drinks he and Duggan had been working on at Cantina a few days prior. This led to David musing on how he had recently thought about making a variation on the Ramos Gin Fizz, using Rye and Absinthe to create a sort of Sazerac Fizz. As the day before I had been talking to Ed about how I was kind of getting the urge for a Ramos, I offered up myself to the altar of giving it a shot. It was certainly a tasty looking beverage, but it was missing a little something. A couple of dashes of orange bitters helped quite a bit -- There was still just a little something missing, but it was damn tasty, and one that I'll certainly be ordering again.

After the "Sazerac" Fizz, I was in the Devil Hour -- That place where I've had enough cocktails, and it's probably a good time to go, but the pull of one more for the road is great. Having no willpower whatsoever, I went for that one for the road. It was a pretty easy decision to make as I noticed there was a Blackberry Cobbler (of the Gin variety) on the menu. Cobblers aren't really something you see a lot of these days, so I was pretty down for it. This was one hell of a tasty beverage -- The blackberries worked great with the gin (not too surprising) and was an excellent way to finish off the evening.

After that, it was off to home. Even though I really wanted a Sazerac.

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