Few bars have the cocktail pedigree that Absinthe Brasserie has, with a parade of graduates from the bar that continue to keep the city's thirst for great cocktails quenched. With the recent hiring of Matty Conway as bar manager, they have assured the streak will continue.
The Walking Dead ($12, Laird's Applejack, Pemartin amontillado sherry, Amaro Montenegro), a cocktail based on a Corpse Reviver #1, is wonderfully robust with dark walnut and chocolate flavors contrasted with wisps of herbal and floral aromas. It's a drink that suits the elegantly casual 14 year-old bar, almost as much as the St. Martin ($12, Lecompte Calvados, Cardamaro cardoon liqueur, Dolin dry).
The St. Martin, gorgeously shining in copper colors, seems almost designed to look good on the bar, but more importantly shows what Conway has learned along the way working at Nopa and Comstock. Luxuriously thick, yet delicate, it's a drink that invites an encoure to Conway's hospitality at the bar.
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, 398 Hayes (at Gough), 551-1590