A few months back, I checked out the R&D bar at Harvard & Stone for St. George Spirits. St. George maven Andie Ferman was in town. After the fabulous distillery tour last summer, I am still a big supporter of the craft spirits brand.
After looking over the menu, I decided on Your Daily Value first.
Your Daily Value – St. George Bontanivore gin, lime, celery juice, dill, apple maple syrup, Miracle Mile “Damn You Matt Wallace” bitters, salt & pepper
I imagine if I ever went on a cleanse and had to juice every meal, it would sort of taste like this. Minus the booze. Or maybe with the booze. You can live on this vitamin-filled drink right? It has fresh juices! Well, I suppose you can say the same about a lot of the cocktails I drink. It was a good opening drink though with a slight savoriness. All the cocktails would actually be good to pair with food.
As a side note, Matt Wallace used to bartend at Harvard & Stone and I suppose he didn’t take his special bitters with him when he left. Good for the patrons of H&S!
Dry Rye Thai Delight – St. George Dry Rye gin, lime, Thai simple syrup, coconut milk
So I was reading the other day how most Asians got their calcium from things like fish bones. But coconut milk was used to impart creaminess to dishes. I think I rather get my calcium from broccoli while drinking something like the Drye Rye Thai Delight. I’m not overly fond of coconut but I like coconut milk. I wouldn’t have thought to put the Dry Rye gin with something sweet or even citrusy but Andie made me a believer.
Monkey Rides the Bear – St. George Terroir gin, pineapple juice, lemon, Small Hand Foods pineapple gum syrup, St. George Absinthe Verte
I’ve always had a problem picking just one thing. And St. George makes it harder to pick just one gin. It’s a good thing I like all three of them and got to try all three in a cocktail this night. If anyone thinks pineapple juice makes a drink girly, they have to try this one. The absinthe definitely pumps up the drink a lot, leaving just a hint of pineapple rather than just heavy-handed pineapple juice. Terroir gin has always been the most fascinating to me- I feel I can explain the bontanivore (herbal) and the dry rye (use like whiskey) but the terroir is just a classic gin to me. I tend to like this one in classic cocktails so I’m always happy to be introduced to it in new ways.
Taking Your Tiki – St. George Breaking & Entering bourbon, lemon, banana-brown sugar simple syrup, chai tea- soaked pineapple, Small Hands Foods orgeat, tiki bitters
I really like the trend of neo-tiki drinks where they are complex but not overly sweet. And a tiki drink without rum? I totally dug this Taking Your Tiki with the B&E bourbon. I’ve seen cocktail recipes call for banana — usually in a form of a liqueur and it seems to end in disaster. But banana has traditionally always worked with whiskey. Add some orgeat and now you have a neo-tiki cocktail worthy of the modern palate. Later this drink got a pineapple garnish which really made it more tiki-like. I could go for one of these on a hot summer day at the beach.
Another SF bartender takes over the R&D Bar at Harvard and Stone this week. Check out Trevor Easter with Beefeater and Plymouth gins tonight, January 28th. Trevor took over the English Gins ambassadorship from Erick Castro about 6 months ago and claims he’s rusty at bartending already. Let’s go see! And let’s hope there are no energy drinks involved.
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© The Minty // LA Cocktails 2013