[re-posted from El Dorado]
One of my favorite things about El Dorado is our seasonally rotating cocktail menu. Over the past four years we’ve experimented with ingredients, tested out new spirits, and amassed quite the collection of catchy names for our quarterly cocktail offerings. I’ve always been proud of this concept, and is still something I feel sets us apart from the majority of the other cocktail bars in our area. The menus keep things fresh and fun for the staff, and as time goes on our guests grow accustomed to the continuous changes to their neighborhood cocktail menu – to the point that now with our new menus comes a sense of anticipation and excitement. And its that reaction from our valued community that makes it all worth it. We feel our menus get better and more creative with every passing season, and it seems the more we learn, the better the reactions we get from our cocktails. Everyone wins.
If you were around for this past Winter menu, you probably felt like we were throwing as many holiday flavors and feelings of seasonal nostalgia as we could at you. The defining cocktail of this menu wrapped the spicy deliciousness of apple pie with the creamy texture of egg nog into a pretty little booze bomb named the “Snow Globe”. If the idea of egg whites in a cocktail had you uneasy at first, all it took was one sip to instantly be beamed back to your fondest, nostalgic Christmas moments. One of my personal favorite holiday memories are the sweets that come along with the season, and I couldn’t resist creating a cocktail that shared the flavor of those frosted, sprinkled little butter bombs, and we called it, simply, the “Sugar Cookie”.
However, now those winter months are behind us, and it’s time to move on to warmer and more colorful memories. (Don’t fret, if you’re still craving any of our Winter cocktails, just ask, we’d love to make you one)
The snow is melting (well the snow on the mountains anyway) and the grass is starting to push its way through the newly thawed ground. The birds and the bees are starting to sing again, and the trees are speeding their branches in hopes of soon bearing fruit. For our Spring selection we decided to work with some ideas floating around using floral accents. The “Holy Roses” added rose water and cucumber to a direct Martini, while the “Lady Jane Grey” incorporated lavender bitters in a traditional (egg white) Gin Sour to combine the familiarity of classic cocktails with the floral aromatics and herbal inspirations of spring.
We also wanted to warm your hearts and souls with a little bit of spice and sunshine. The “Rye ‘n Gosling” is a collaboration between the warmth and bite of rye whisky with the sweeter finish of Gosling’s black rum in a traditional highball. Throw in some house made ginger syrup, fresh lime juice, and tiki bitters, and you have yourself a “Rye N’ Gosling”. This cocktail has by far won this seasons popularity contest, and I’m not sure if maybe the name has something to do with it? Regardless, once you try this cocktail and taste the components working together you’ll forget all about that hunky whats-his-name.
Our Old Fashioned variation, “Battle of Bastogne” adds a little black walnut kick, and really appeals to the booze forward palate. Plus, not all nights are summer nights yet, so this one will keep you warm despite the chill of the ending winter months.
Finally, we come to “Robert the Bruce”. This was just one of those “no brainers”. No matter what your preference in cocktails may be, this drink is an instant crowd pleaser. Its sweet creamy texture makes for easy drinking, while the Scotch base maintains the drinks integrity, and ensures that it lives up to its Scottish name.
Speaking personally, as proud as we are of this Spring menu, we’re already looking forward to our Summer ’13 menu, it’s going to be the most fun we have ever had with a menu.
We can’t wait to share any of these cocktails with you the next time you stop in, and we hope you’ll join us for our next menu release party for the Summer menu – we’re bursting with anticipation.
Love all around.
Ryan Koontz is the bar manager of El Dorado, and helms our cocktail and beverage program. He can regularly be found slinging drinks every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at El D. Ryan also hosts Twang Gang featuring his band Crash and the Burns, along with other rock ‘n roll acts every 4th Thursday of the month at El Dorado.