2020 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley CA, 94704 (510) 926.6300
Hours
Sunday thru Thursday 5:30-10pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30-11pm
Front bar opens at 5pm nightly
Hours
Sunday thru Thursday 5:30-10pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30-11pm
Front bar opens at 5pm nightly

New Cocktail: Knock on Wood

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

DSCF0481Chief Barman Matthew Campbell has been busy as of late.  Recently added cocktail “Summer Camp” is a big hit, and fast on its heels is his latest: Knock on Wood.  The name is a reference to the wood barrels used for aging the Zaya twelve-year rum that is the centerpiece of the drink, but we believe that consuming this cocktail will likely preserve good fortune much like the age-old superstition from which it derives its name.

Without further ado, Matthew’s notes:

This drink is the product of a hypothetical question: Could chile/heat/spice be incorporated into a stirred cocktail to good effect?  We’ve had success with spicy cocktails of course, and with agave-spirit stirred drinks that act like our favorite whiskey classics.  The two did not seem mutually exclusive; we just hadn’t gone down that road yet.   

Ancho (roasted poblano) seemed the perfect chile as it had a mellow heat and smoky, cooked sweetness reminiscent of whiskey.  Apricots and orange peels were added to round out this house-made ancho liquor as I wanted the finished drink to have a depth of mid-palate that often comes with Curaçao.

We recently added Zucca Rabarbaro Amaro (rhubarb bitters) to our pantry because it’s delicious and we knew it would find a home in one of our cocktails before long.  Dolin blanc is a dry vermouth with a floral nose and a dry sherry-like finish.  It adds front-end brightness and long oxidized, nutty finish.

 I have loved Zaya since they began distilling in Venezuela some years ago.  Now produced in Trinidad, the Gran Reserva is aged 12 years on American oak (bourbon barrels) – toasted, caramel, vanilla, etc…  All in all, a perfect spirit for a whiskey-esque stirred drink with Mexican accents (heat).


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