When the weather gets cold, with shorter days and longer nights, my drinking habits increasingly shift to less juicy and more spirit-driven drinks. While a good Manhattan or a simple pour of whiskey is my go to, I found myself at Presidio Social Club hanging out with the Elder Statesman ($10, rye whiskey, vermouth, sambuca, crème de cassis). It tasted like fall: crisp and refreshing, with the color of autumn leaves.
It was a perfect compliment to an exceptionally brisk day, one that necessitated a little restoration after viewing the awesome Tyrus Wong exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum. After chatting with bartender Scott Brody, he suggested and mixed up his new drink. In a lot of ways, it is similar to a Presidente cocktail (white rum, white vermouth, farmhouse curaçao, grenadine, orange bitters), but rye whiskey based with sambuca in place of the curacao.
As for the name, Brody says that the similarity to the Presidente cocktail played a role. "Since Sambuca is made with elderberries (the Latin name for the elder tree is Sambuca) and an elder statesman is often an older president the name almost came up with itself," says Brody.
Because we can't live on whiskey drinks alone, even the wisest ones like the Elder Statesman, the PSC Burger ($12.50) provides a solid and juicy foundation for trekking out into the cold afternoon.
Take our advice and listen to your elders.
1 ½ oz. Templeton Rye Whiskey
¾ oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth
¼ oz. Sambuca Borghetti
1 Barspoon Gabriel Boudier Crème De Cassis*
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until cold and strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with star anise.
*Just a drizzle, almost more for color than flavor
Presidio Social Club, 563 Ruger (at Lombard), 885-1888