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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month at a Pop-Up Old Fashioned Bar This Friday

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM

click to enlarge The Demerara Old Fashioned at SlingBAR. - THE DAPPER DINER
  • The Dapper Diner
  • The Demerara Old Fashioned at SlingBAR.

“Why are you putting black olives in my Old Fashioned?,” the young man wearing a shirt with a popped collar asked. The bartender paused and quizzically looked up at his customer. The live jazz band wailed away on the stage of the lounge area in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New Orleans. The young man asked his question again, thinking the bartender’s hesitation was due to him not hearing the original question, rather than it being out of confusion. The bartender replied, “These aren’t olives. They’re Luxardo cherries.” At least he was trying and wasn’t out on Bourbon Street drinking an awful drink out of a plastic hand grenade, I thought to myself upon overhearing the interaction.

And now that September has rolled around, you are obligated to enjoy more Old Fashioneds with “black olives.” Why? Because September is Bourbon Heritage Month, which means you have a bonafide excuse to drink bourbon every day this month, as opposed to those other months where you shamefully drink bourbon every day.

If you’re not enjoying a glass of bourbon, neat, with a little water, then one of the best ways to imbibe bourbon is by having it in the form of an Old Fashioned, a classic “bittered sling” made with bourbon, sugar, water, and bitters. Enter the Hog & Rocks SlingBAR, a pop-up Old Fashioned bar.

click to enlarge Bartender Michael Lazar shows off an ice block before cutting it down to size. - THE DAPPER DINER
  • The Dapper Diner
  • Bartender Michael Lazar shows off an ice block before cutting it down to size.
While food pop-ups are still going strong, booze pop-ups aren’t as common. A limited three-month trial run for SlingBAR comes to an end this Friday, Sept. 12, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Stable Cafe, although Hog & Rocks owner Scott Youkilis indicated on Twitter that it would return in the future with more pop-ups. Manning the bar and cutting ice blocks with a chainsaw is H&R’s main bartender, Michael Lazar.

The SlingBAR’s version of the Old Fashioned uses W.L. Weller Special Reserve bourbon, Fee’s Old Fashioned bitters, Regan’s orange bitters, and bitter orange syrup. Then it is stirred with ice and garnished with an orange peel and cherries, not black olives. Please take note that it is garnished with the peel and cherries and not muddled into oblivion inside the glass. Proper. For those who want some variety, Lazar is mixing up three other Old Fashioned variations. My favorite of the alternates is the Demerara with El Dorado 12 year old rum, Angostura orange bitters, Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters, and cane syrup. There is also the Antiquado, made with Casa Noble reposado tequila, Angostura orange bitter, and agave syrup; and the d’Auge, created with Calvados, Fee’s black walnut bitters, and brown sugar syrup.

Tickets are $30 through and get you in to the event with six chips (worth $5 each), with additional chips available for $5 each. Bites for the evening will be provided by Hog & Rock’s Robin Song and include oysters on the half shell and seasonal flatbreads with prosciutto and melon or leeks and olive tapenade. And if you’re lucky, you might catch Youkilis himself shucking oysters while you sit outside on the patio sipping an Old Fashioned.

SlingBAR Pop-Up at Stable Cafe, 2128 Folsom.

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