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Friday, July 18, 2014

Drink of the Week: Flora Cocktail at Trocadero Club

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

  • Lou Bustamante
You can sum up the American idea of schnapps in a single sentence: Cocktail training wheels for the brand new bar patron.

But in Germany, schnapps (which comes from the word schnaps and means to "swallow") is dry, high proof, and distilled from either fruit, like brandy, or beer, like unaged whisky. The intention of the distillers is to render the fruit's essence into liquid form. Intended to be sipped neat after dinner, they're nothing like the brightly colored, sugary, and artificially flavored mixers.

Since it's in the same category as grappa, its no surprise that even more experienced drinkers find the dry, intense, and potent liquor a little challenging. Even the harshest critics might reconsider the liquor after trying some cocktails made with the liquor at Trocadero Club, Dennis Leary and Eric Passetti's bar in the Tenderloin.

See also: Drink of the Week: Sugar Snap Pea Cocktail at 1760

Drink of the Week: Four Spots to Cool You Down This Week

Drink of the Week: Shrub Runner at Serpentine

Baroness cocktail - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Baroness cocktail

At Trocadero, Passetti gives the maligned spirit a shot at redemption, with a whole cocktail menu devoted to the spirit full of concentrated fruit flavors, like the fruity but not sweet Flora ($10) cocktail.

"Flora is the best example of what you wouldn't expect from a schnapps cocktail," says Passetti. The drink weaves together dry white vermouth, crème de cassis, and kirschwasser, a brandy made by distilling nothing but fermented cherries.

"It's dry but still has some fruit undertones," adds Pasetti. "Balance and simplicity is always the most difficult part of making drinks."

The short menu of six drinks includes other varieties of schnapps like raspberry eau-de-vie in the Autobahn that gets mixed with maraschino, lemon, and curacao or the malty, Bavarian beer-based bierbrand in the Baroness combined with bitter Gran Classico, citrusy Amaro Nonino, and lemon juice.

Pasetti's European style schnapps cocktails may not put the sweet schnapps market out of business, but they provide ample excuse to move from the tricycle to the autobahn.

Trocadero Club, 155 Columbus (at Leavenworth), 952-0481

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