Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Summer Cocktails at 1886 Bar: Paleta, Fruity Tranquilizers, and Xocolate

It seems like the cocktail menu at 1886 Bar gets better and better each season. The new summer list is fun, with plenty of fruit to showcase the summer, and refreshing for the hot Pasadena weather.

I tried almost all of the cocktails listed at a recent media tasting, and here are my favorites:

Strawberry Paleta (Garrett McKechnie): liquid nitrogen, fresh California strawberries, cream and "a healthy dose of rum"

Strawberry Paleta with Rum
A boozy paleta (Mexican ice cream pop)? I mean, what can be more perfect for the summer? Cold, creamy and fruity. Oh, and that does of rum? "Healthy" indeed. I know you're going to want more than one paleta, but just be careful. Now, if only this was available during breakfast or lunch *hint* *hint*

PS. I love how the 1886 menu lists which staff member is responsible for creating which drink. Way to give props to the ones who deserve them!

Tranquilizer (Garrett McKechnie): overproof rum, Batavia arrack, coconut, and pineapple
Think pina colada, but stronger and more complex.

La Brigada (Lacey Murillo): mezcal, homemade agave liqueur, fresh pineapple, lime, served over crushed ice and frozen coconut water, with a garnish of spicy chicharron
La Brigada

1886 has certainly had some of the most creative garnishes in the city. Nothing like a chicharron to bring out the smokiness of the mezcal in the sweet cocktail.

Since I was sharing the drink with two other people, they gave us extra chicharron!

Remember the bottled spiked soda we loved so much in the spring menu, the Rum Whistle? Even though that one is now gone, there is a new whistle on the menu:
Southern Belle Whistle (Greg and Jeff): fresh yellow peaches, floral sweet black tea, 1886 Buffalo Trace bourbon,
Having lived in South Carolina for three years, this version of the whistle tastes nostalgic. It tastes just like southern style sweet tea!

Xocolate (Eder Campos): Reposado tequila, vermouth, creme de cacao, and a hint of Mexican mole bitters.
IMG_0584I haven't heard people praise their bar back so much than the 1886 staff does with Eder Campos. His Xocolate was smooth and well balanced, with the hint of chocolate that makes it distinct.

Eder apparently makes the best Ramos Gin Fizz also, which you can try when he's behind the bar on Sunday afternoons. Not for long, though, as he will soon move to Sacramento (in other words, get there on a Sunday afternoon while you can).

They also have the last of the Pimm's Cups, now, made with vodka. With this, the whole Pimm's line is complete.

The food menu remains largely the same with my beloved shrimp toast still on the menu, as well as the lamb neck, but there are great additions too like the soft shell crab.


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