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Friday, August 1, 2014

Drink of the Week: Ellwood Shandy at Dirty Habit

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 4:00 PM

click to enlarge Ellwood Shandy - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Ellwood Shandy

It’s almost impossible to have a discussion about Dirty Habit without the issue of the name coming up. Most people hate the name because they find it unappetizing for a restaurant, though if I have any issue with it is that the restaurant and bar is just not dirty or illicit enough. Perhaps this is a measure of the depravity I find normal, but I think it’s simply a safe and clean place to grab a bite and a drink.

click to enlarge ¡Mole Mole Mole! - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • ¡Mole Mole Mole!
It’s great to see bar manager Brian Means, chef David Bazirgan, and pastry chef Francis Ang working together to create a cohesive experience built around the bar. With the release of the new summer cocktail menu, Means and his crew have tweaked the menu format at touch, but the biggest changes come with lots of new drinks.

“We work together as a team behind the bar," says Means. “We have a solid menu that we are all proud of and want to recommend to our guests for various reasons; whether its pairing with Baz and Francis' food or getting someone a lower proof cocktail option like our ‘Windows to the Flor’ sherry menu.”

Clearly designed for the patio and a plate of the deliciously spiced wings is the Ellwood Shandy ($13, High West Double Rye, eucalyptus syrup, Meletti Amaro, Allagash Witbeir), a cocktail that has all the flavor and freshness you want outside. The beer lightens up the drink a bit, with malty effervescence, and the eucalyptus cools and accents the rye’s herbal qualities. Plus the eucalyptus has the sense memory attached to it of strolling through one our local parks.

For those who enjoy their drinks with a little chile heat, the ¡Mole Mole Mole! ($13, Partida Blanco Tequila, Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry, Tempis Fugit Crème de Cacao, habañero) is complex with lots of layered flavors that build with the heat. The blend of savory sherry, vegetal tequila, and mole spices yield a slow sipping drink that comes in a fun vintage glass.

The large menu may overwhelm initially, but it also offers something for every taste. While I’m not usually a fan of vodka drinks, the Loveable Trixter ($13, Absolut Vodka, lime, blackberries, sage) arrives in a custom pottery mug and blends tiki with a classic cobbler. It easily tricked me into drinking more vodka.

There’s even a grappa drink on the menu. Rossini’s Muse ($13, Candolini Grappa, Mandarine Napoleon, cherry, toasted fennel) is well designed, taking the berry qualities of the spirit and enhancing them with black cherry puree and the creamy orange flavors of the orange liqueur.

Ellwood Shandy

1 oz. High West Double Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Eucalyptus syrup*
1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Meletti Amaro

1 oz. Allagash Wit Bier

Combine all ingredients except beer in a Belgian beer glass with ice. Stir for 15 seconds to combine and chill ingredients and top with beer and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.

*Eucalyptus syrup:
32 oz. Hot water
32 oz. Sugar
1 ½ oz. Dried eucalyptus

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan bring to a simmer on the stove. Remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate solids and liquid together overnight to marry the flavors, then strain. The syrup will keep for almost two weeks.

Dirty Habit, 12 Fourth St. (at Market), 348-1555

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