Watering Hole: Hawksworth

While it’s not chiefly thought of as a ‘watering hole’ (I would assume), it’s well enough known that Hawksworth Restaurant boasts one of the more kick-ass bar programs in the city. Hell, beverage programs in general, as their wine & beer are certainly tops as well. In that serendipitous way things sometimes go, yesterday evening allowed me a broader perspective on that program than I’d normally get. And no, that’s not code for me drinking to sloppiness (just short, thanks ever-so).

The plan was to meet up with a friend I hadn’t touched base with in over a year, have a drink or two, catch up. The reality was just that (which was lovely – thanks Jenn!), and then Alex showed up 2 hours in with another cook, a German server, and a freshly-minted sommelier in tow. As much as that sounds like the start of a really questionable joke, it worked out to everyone ordering different cocktails, most via “surprise me!”, and we got to sample a whole lot of excellence.

So I figured I’d give a run-down of some of my favourites for the evening:

The only photo I got before my phone died. Also, my favourite of the night – the Incognito

The Incognito – Our server recommended this as my first drink, as it’s creator was presiding over the bar. Turns out, never doubt your server (at least here…elsewhere, discretion may be advised). This thing starts with hopped tequila (which I was granted the method for, and which I shall chronicle my attempt at, here, down the road) and carries on in a fairly spot-on cocktail impression of an IPA (Green Flash Brewing West Coast IPA specifically, apparently). Amaro for bitterness, with grapefruit, vanilla & apricot flavours to round it out. I kind of wonder if this is what a good IPA tastes like for people who, unlike me, can taste anything other than ‘beer’ when they drink it.

Red Hook (Meat Hook?) – Someone else’s ‘surprise me’, our server delivered it with the name Meat Hook, though it’s listed on the bill as a Red Hook. Whichever would likely work if you wanted to order one. And if you like peaty scotch, you should. This one’s a bourbon base finished with Ardbeg, so it basically smells and tastes like a campfire – with a bacon finish. Never a bad thing. Well, rarely, but not here.

Nikka White Whiskey – Leave it to the som to order the obscure Japanese whiskey. But hey, it’s delicious –  all dried flower-y. Which sounds weird in theory, but ’twas lovely in practice.

Also awesome: Corpse Reviver no.2 (easy on the Absinthe, so it’s nice and herby rather than overbearingly anise-y) and the straightforward Whiskey Sours. And most everything else, really. Oh, and the Hotel Georgia for a never-fail bet.

I’m plotting that hopped tequila now. And though I got the instructions for that, I’ll need to figure out the rest of the drink myself, as well as other applications. Ideas? Suggestions?

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