Friday 24 February 2012

Fernet February: "The Dark And Fernet-y" From Rob Roy

So this is the final Fernet February cocktail recipe from a local bar. I will be doing a small piece on 1940's New York where we will discover the Toronto Cocktail to finish off the month, but this is the final recipe submission.
Tonight we head south again to Seattle to visit one of the more fun, interesting, and renowned bars in the city. As more and more bars start to attempt to jump on the (slowly growing) bandwagon of classic cocktails, it becomes harder in good food and drink cities to find reliable and skilled bars. That sounds strange to say, because so much of the last 20-30 years has been a treasure hunt for anyone who gives a crap at all about cocktails, let alone good-quality spirits. Up until recently it's seemed impossible to find somewhere to get a good drink, and now it's becoming even more confusing because there are bad bars misleading you by offering classic cocktails then making them poorly. San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and yes, Vancouver, are all great destinations for food and drink, but it's always good to make sure you check the reviews, menus, and word-of-mouth to make sure you know where to go. Seattle has a great selection, from Canon and Zig Zag, to Tavern Law and Bathtub Gin & Co., to Hideout and Vessel, and of course, Rob Roy.
Tonight's bar was recently named one of the top 50 bars in the U.S. for 2011 by Food and Drink Magazine, and it's a pleasure to get a recipe from owner and bartender Anu Apte - even if it's the simplest of their selection. First of all let's take a look at Rob Roy's aesthetic, which is awesome. There is a 1970's vibe, with padded leather walls, stacks of books, washrooms dressed in graffiti, interesting art, and vintage tape recorders. Easily the coolest thing about Rob Roy is Tuesday "analog nights," during which all music is played either on vinyl or cassette and you are encouraged to bring your own selections in. If they approve, you even get a cocktail on the house. Awesome idea.
You can check out a short interview on the Small Screen Network on "Hanging With Harris" here, and see Anu talk a little about the place and make their namesake cocktail. (My favourite quote here is definitely "we do have a small selection of vodka, even though we're a cocktail bar - we still have the weekend crowd," after showing off the impressive amount of rye, bourbon, mezcal, and Cognac).
P.S. is it me, or does Harris sound just like Patton Oswalt? (one who interrupts way too much)...

Other Fernet originals at Rob Roy include the "Owl's Clover," using Cocchi Americano, Fernet Branca, lemon juice, honey, and lavender bitters, and the "Ginslinger," using Old Tom gin, Fernet Branca, cane sugar, and Regan's orange bitters. There's definitely some interesting modern mixology at play here, but you can also tell that there's a genuine appreciation for classic cocktails too. Their "classic cocktails" menu alone shows a vast knowledge, as none of the drinks are easily recognizable, such as the "Duke of Norfolk Punch," "The Ancient Mariner," "Delores," and "Warday's Cocktail." I know, I haven't heard of these either.

It being a super busy month for cocktailia, Anu couldn't get me a new original, but was kind enough to pass on a popular choice at Rob Roy - a simple and well-matched drink (we've seen this month that Fernet pairs well with ginger beer and almost any fruit juice). It's just a "Dark and Stormy" with Fernet in place of rum, and is a great way to enjoy the amaro.

Dark and Fernet-y

1.5oz Fernet Branca
4-5 Lime Wedges

Ginger beer
Muddle wedges in collins glass, add ice, Fernet, and ginger beer, and stir lightly.

If you're in Seattle, Rob Roy should definitely be on your list of top cocktail destinations, and I'm sure you'll be excited by both their creative originals and obscure classics on the menu. Thanks to Anu for contributing!

[[ see the "Gastown Swizzle" from L'Abattoir here ]]
[[ see the "Chinatown Sour" from The Keefer here ]]
[[ see "Pandemonium" from Veneto Tapa Lounge here ]]
[[ see "The Bittercup" from Pourhouse here ]]
[[ see "The Vested Bartender" from Boneta here ]]
[[ see "The Parliament" from The Diamond here ]]
[[ see "Parliament Hill" from The Hideout here ]]
[[ see "The Lucky Lady" from The Refinery here ]]
[[ see "The Denny Triangle" from Jamie Boudreau / Canon here ]]

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