Sunday, April 15, 2012

Candy and Fire: Spring at 1886 Bar

Cocktails on fire, beer cocktail, a flight of barrel aged cocktails, Chartreuse candies, and spiked sodas. You can find all those and more on 1886 Bar's new spring cocktail menu. The food side boasts lamb neck, shrimp toast, and "onsen" egg. In other words, there are plenty of reasons to visit 1886 this season, even if you hav
The Cinnablossom ($12) by Lacey Murillo is a table-side show, where the server will light up Lemonhart 151 on fire in the glass, then the cocktail itself (made with gin, lemon and homemade cinnamon bark syrup) is poured into the glass and extinguishes the flame.

The Bittersweet Farewell from Marcos Tello also gets fired up. The cocktail is made of gin, homemade passion fruit syrup, lemon juice, Campari, then the lemon garnish is doused with Lemonhart 151 and set on fire.

The Barrel Roll ($15, also by Lacey) is made with Bols barrel aged Genever, Carpano Antica, green chartreuse and garnished with a Campari "glass" candy. It's not just a garnish gimmick, the cocktail actually does taste better with the Campari candy.

The 20,000 Leagues ($14) by Peter Lloyd Jones is a cocktail made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. It was inspired by a peach and chartreuse dessert served on the ship. The drink is made with homemade peach infused rye, mint, and garnished with yellow Chartreuse candy. As a Julep fan, I really enjoyed this.

Wild Orchid ($13) by Brady Weise is their beer cocktail, with Hefeweissen, Torontel Pisco, Vergano Bianco vermouth, and Grand Marnier.

I'm into their refreshing cocktails including the Pimm's #5 with "herbal liquors", rye whiskey and topped with Fever Tree tonic. I've always enjoyed all their Pimm's and this is a contender for my favorite. Luckily, they've gone through the whole round (they skipped vodka) so now all 7 Pimm's will be available at the bar.
There's also Water of Life by Garrett Mckechnie is an Aguavit Tom Collins with Nolet's Gin, homemade chamomile syrup, tonic.

I don't really want to tell you about their spiked soda, the Rum Whistle, since they only bottle 15 of these spiked sodas every day! It was inarguably our favorite, we drank four bottles on Thursday. This cocktail by Greg Gertmenian is made with rum, green apples, and celery.

A flight of their barrel aged Vintage Caprice (fresh, 4 month, and year old) is also available on the menu - I still preferred the 4 month best.

The bar food menu at 1886 has also gotten more interesting and diverse.
I can't get enough of the dim sum shrimp toast sandwich ($10) with soy cucumber, mizuna, and sriracha mayo. I had it earlier that week and had to request it again.
Just get it already.

Another favorite: Roasted Lamb Necks and Afghan Bread ($12) with Vadouvan, served with three condiments: harissa, sweet tomato chutney, and chermoula (made with parsley, cilantro, paprika, etc)
I didn't love the bread but the I certainly loved gnawing the tender meat off the bones. The chermoula was personally my favorite condiment, but that's only if you like cilantro.

They've always had pork belly on the menu and I particularly liked this one:
Pork Belly, cured, pressed and crisped ($9) with bourbon aged maple, apple, celery, and chili.
Crisped is the word.

If you just want some finger snacks while drinking, I'd suggest getting the battered mushrooms with Mikey's Ranch ($6)

The mushrooms were very juicy inside but still maintained crisp batter and weren't too oily.

We also scored a special that day, grilled hamachi (I think) collar with shishito peppers. Can't go wrong.

Brady said that he thought this spring menu is their strongest yet in terms of the cocktails, and I tend to agree. Everything was solid and we were wowed by quite a few items. Same goes for the food menu. I'm looking forward to many return visits before the season ends.


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