Monday, October 1, 2018

The Archives releases fall menu

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 2:16 PM

click to enlarge A classic sidecar blends brandy, lemon and orange liqueur; Currier serves it with a sugared rim to mellow the tartness. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • A classic sidecar blends brandy, lemon and orange liqueur; Currier serves it with a sugared rim to mellow the tartness.
Bartender Dylan Currier's new spot, The Archives, has released its fall menu. Keeping in line with the bar's theme, the menu highlights a selection of vintage recipes, more recent classics and originals. 13 drinks are featured, and on Currier's invitation, we sampled each of them.

Starting with traditional drinks, the whiskey sour's mix of bourbon, lemon, sugar and egg white gets shaken into a rich sipper, delicately creamy from the egg white, finished with bitters for aroma and garnish. The sidecar, a mix of brandy, lemon and orange liqueur, lands clean and refreshing, especially thanks to a sugared rim that cuts the tart lemon. Similarly, the negroni's to style, nicely sweet and bitter, with plenty of orange essence that keeps the drink fairly friendly.
click to enlarge The Negroni's a classic, and Currier's gin-Campari-sweet vermouth drink bears stand-out orange zest on the nose. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Negroni's a classic, and Currier's gin-Campari-sweet vermouth drink bears stand-out orange zest on the nose.

Currier, it seems, has no fear of putting two-ingredient drinks on the menu, as evidenced by both his gimlet and dark & stormy. The former's a simple combination of gin and house lime cordial, nice and clean with a small lime wedge as garnish being the only deviation from tradition. Currier's also sourced a mighty gingery ginger beer for his dark & stormy, which stands up to dark rum and makes a spirit-and-soda drink seem at home alongside more complex classics.

Moving on to more recent recipes, Currier's Singapore sling sips fruity with a mellow rum flavor, friendly but with complexity from Bénédictine and cherry brandy. A Bonded Vieux Carré, the French name for New Orleans' French Quarter, uses rye and brandy bottled in bond, a particular US government regulation that, among purity and authenticity concerns, requires spirits be bottled at 100 proof. Mixed with sweet vermouth, Bénédictine and bitters, it's a strong, bitter, complex drink. A Blood and Sand combines Monkey Shoulder blended Scotch with sweet vermouth, cherry brandy and orange for a mouth-filling combo of cherry and peat smoke. Last in that category, Archives bartender Luis Rodriguez compares the Adonis to a tootsie pop — three sips, and this luxurious, fruity mix of sherry, sweet vermouth and orange bitters is gone.

click to enlarge The Cimarron's an Archives original, grassy and fresh on the sip with a big sage nose. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Cimarron's an Archives original, grassy and fresh on the sip with a big sage nose.
Currier's menu has four originals. His favorite is the Cimarron, Spanish for runaway or wild. It uses sotol, a spirit from Chihuahua, Mexico, similar to tequila, but lighter in flavor. In the Cimarron, it's paired with lime, sugar and blackberries, then finished with a slapped sage leaf for a drink that's fresh and herbaceous, almost grassy and finishing very clean. The brandy-based El Pomar blends brandy and Distillery 291's Decc citrus-clove liqueur for a fruity, crisp sipper with subdued spice notes. The O.N.E.'s a revision of Currier's Old North End, developed at his former digs, Sakura Speakeasy, here made with rye, vermouth, black walnut liqueur and aromatic bitters, an intense, dark drink with big Manhattan vibes. And, lastly, the most challenging drink on the menu's the Witch's Brew, a drink of dark rum, Italian Strega liqueur, Fernet-Branca and sweet vermouth that drinks minty and mouth-filling, with a rounded feel.

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