What do you order in a bar that may not make a careful cocktail? You know what I mean: not every bartender will know how to make a good Martinez, or even a Sidecar. But a lot of bars won’t even serve many Manhattans or Martinis, either. So short of ordering a beer or a whiskey soda, what can you do if you’re not in the mood for straight spirits?
At a neighborhood bar in Brooklyn last night, I asked a bartender if he could give me a dash of bitters in my Maker’s Mark on the rocks. I figured I’d turn it into a sort of impromptu Old Fashioned (whiskey with muddled sugar and bitters). The poor guy looked all over the bar and then smiled and said he’d have to go buy some more. I tried to stop him, but he said he’d been meaning to do it anyway. I tipped well.
The same dilemma prompted me to ask a bartender friend at a busy Minneapolis bar for two parts whiskey with one part Tuaca (It turned out great! I wrote about it here.).
Maybe that’s the key to cocktails at un-cocktail bars. Two-spirit drinks, like Godfathers (scotch and amaretto) and Rusty Nails (scotch and Drambuie).
What would you order? Any favorite simple drinks out there? Tell me about yours.