The other night I found myself spending my only night off all week at The Rookery, the upstairs bar at The Raven and Rose in the old Ladd Carriage House. The Rookery is in what used to be the hayloft, a hundred years and change ago. The space is similar to the R&R downstairs - that is, it looks like somebody just recently sunk a bunch of money into renovating a barn. It's the shape of a barn, but with the decor of a new downtown restaurant. Or like a semi-swanky condo or something. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely a bar: the lighting is right, there's leather sofas, a pool table, a beautiful bar built for displaying the ogle-able array of bottles, live music on Wednesdays... It just doesn't exactly feel lived-in yet.
But you can forgive that slightly off-putting newness once you check out the cocktail list. I had a Daddy Issues, because it's both a drink and a reason to drink. Hot Monkey chili vodka, Vin de Peche (not, as I thought, a wine infused with peach leaf, but basically a peach liqueur - the bartender and I looked up what I was thinking of and couldn't figure out the history or where I'd heard of it, but we agreed I was obnoxious), lemon, honey, Bednedictine liqueur, and egg white. Honestly, it was hot and spicy enough on the front that I thought I wouldn't taste anything after it. But that heat gave way to the juicy peach and slight spice of benedictine, with a beautiful color and creamy texture from the egg white. A really good, gorgeous cocktail. (I tried to get a picture, but all I had was my phone and I decided the NSA didn't need to know what an alcoholic I am.)
The star for me, however, was a beer cocktail called Panache. This one's made with St. Germain elderflower liqueur (delicious), Byrrh Quinquina (bitter and dry), and lemon juice, then topped off with ice and whatever farmhouse ale happens to be on the Rookery's not huge, but exceptionally well-thought-out draft list. I lucked out and got my Panache hooked up with Logsdon Farmhouse Ales' Seizoen Bretta, a grassy, rustic farmhouse fermented with two strains of brettanomyces yeast for a dry, slightly fruity and tart finish. It was basically the perfect beer for this cocktail. I recommend you run there, now, and see if it's still on tap.
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