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    Eat & Swig

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    Interviews by Maya O. McKenzie and Dahlen Mitzalis

    Photos by Mickie Winters,

    Grab a group of friends (and a designated driver) for this all-over-town bar crawl.


    drink: Everyday Superhero

    from: ALEX&NDER at Copper & Kings, 1121 E. Washington St.

    ingredients: Copper & Kings brandy, Velvet Devil Merlot, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled blackberries

    “It is sweet and sour and embodies the delicious link between Merlot and blackberries. And it has a nice creaminess to it, ” says Eron Plevan, beverage director at ALEX&NDER. “With the muddled blackberries at the bottom of the glass, it stays really fruity.

    “In general, Copper & Kings is pretty much defined by music. [‘Everyday Superhero’ is a song by Smash Mouth.] It alludes to the fact that this is an everyday drink, delicious no matter the season.”


    drink: Coffee & Donut

    from: Whiskey Dry, 412 S. Fourth St.

    ingredients: Jim Beam Black Label, cold brew, condensed milk, Krispy Kreme doughnut

    “When you deliver it to a table, as you’re walking through the dining room, it’s one of those eye-catchers. A lot of people order it just from seeing it and being intrigued,” says Mara Brown, general manager at Whiskey Dry. “The Jim Beam is a sweeter bourbon, which nicely balances with the coffee flavor, as well as the sweetness of the condensed milk. It’s really hard not to drink it in one major sip.”


    drink: Wren Bird

    from: The Hub, 2235 Frankfort Ave.

    ingredients: vodka, Cava sparkling wine, Earl Grey syrup, lemon juice, orange oil, orange peel

    “I actually made this for my grandma because it has all of her favorites in it and her last name is Wren,” says Eric Wentworth, owner and beverage manager at the Hub. “She loves tea and Champagne, so it is actually a riff on a French 75, with vodka instead of gin. We use a dry Spanish Cava. It sounds really simple and it actually is, but it is one of those drinks that’s kind of more than the sum of the parts. All those ingredients really come together, with amazing balance. It’s super-refreshing.”


    drink: Harvest Moon

    from: Old 502 Winery, 120 S. 10th St.

    ingredients: Maker’s Mark, Bourbon Barrel Red wine, Copper & Kings apple brandy, egg white

    “We really focus a lot on the wines,” says Rebecca Hill, Old 502’s tasting room manager. “We do have wine tastings, and then we have a selection of beer and liquor for people to be able to try. But sometimes we kind of get creative and make wine cocktails that we use with our wine.

    “(In Harvest Moon), our Bourbon Barrel Red cuts the harshness of the bourbon, but at the same time complements it. And then that apple brandy is really just a hint. It’s not anything that is overpowering. And then the egg white really just makes it more thick and more frothy. It doesn’t add any flavor, just more texture.”


    drink: House-made margarita

    from: Galaxie, 732 E. Market St.

    “Part of why the margarita sells so well is because we do fresh citrus every day,” bartender Lauren Conley says. “It’s got a batch of fresh lime and lemon, and we use a citrus-infused simple syrup as well. We use a little bit of orange liquor, so a little bit of triple sec — an additional citrus and little extra sweetness. Then lots of tequila. It outsells our beers.”


    drink: Arneis

    from: Cuvée Wine Table, 3598 Springhurst Blvd.

    “We have currently about 58 wines by the glass, and one of the white wines we do really well with is called Arneis, and the name of the producer is Malvira,” says master sommelier Scott Harper, who co-owns Cuvée. “It’s an Italian wine. The name itself has an interesting story that I could share with you. It means kind of like ‘little difficult one’ or ‘little rascal.’ I have a number of rescue dogs and we named our Golden Retriever rescue Arneis, which she lives up to somewhat.

    “It doesn’t taste like Pinot Grigio, but if you like Pinot Grigio, you like Arneis. It’s medium-bodied, dry, crisp, has a light minerality to it and the fruit is basically a little apple and lemon. It goes well with the polenta fries.”


    drink: Tri-County Honey Lavender Saison

    from: Old Louisville Brewery, 625 W. Magnolia Ave.

    “This is part of the Kentucky Proud beer series, from the Kentucky Guild of Brewers and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. They do this once a year, breweries partnering with Kentucky Proud producers of any sort of product they would want to use in beer: corn, barley, peaches, grapes — whatever,” says Wade Mattingly, co-owner of Old Louisville Brewery.

    “We decided to name it Tri-County because we are based here in Jefferson County and sourced the lavender at a farmers’ market here. We are expanding and putting a taproom in downtown Shelbyville, so we sourced the honey from a local farmer in Shelby County. And my brother, who is actually the brewer, lives in Rockcastle County (south of Richmond near Berea), so we sourced hops from Rockcastle. We incorporated all the counties relevant to our brewery.”


    drink: Spicy Basil Paloma

    from: Sarino, 1030 Goss Ave.

    ingredients: Maestro Dobel tequila, muddled basil and jalapeño, grapefruit juice, lime juice, house-made jalapeño bitters, agave syrup

    “The Paloma’s a traditional cocktail, but we kind of like to stray from tradition and do all of our classic cocktails a little bit different,” says Carrie Casler, Sarino’s bar manager. “This cocktail is spicy and herbal and fresh and tart. You can’t control the spice because you never know how hot the jalapeño is going to be. People don’t typically drink tequila beverages at an Italian restaurant, but we were trying to make it have overlapping ingredients with what our food has. So basil, which is heavily used in Italian food.”


    drink: Bourbon Slush

    from: Big Bar, 1202 Bardstown Road

    ingredients: Old Forester, orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice

    “It’s kind of a traditional bourbon slush, an old-school recipe for it,” Big Bar owner Kevin Bryan says. “It’s great in the summertime. In the wintertime when we have it in our machine, it’s not too sweet, not too sour. Over the holidays, we do frozen eggnog, frozen hot chocolate, which is awesome, and a frozen white Russian.”


    drink: Obscured IPA

    from: Holsopple, 8023 Catherine Lane

    “This IPA is a juicy, hops-forward IPA that’s not bitter. It’s full of aromas, mainly mango and strawberry. It has a very soft mouthfeel,” owner Sam Gambill says. “It’s interesting because people who don’t even think they like IPAs like this one because it does have a ton of hops character but is not bitter.

    “My wife and I are the ones who came up with this recipe. We use a special yeast strain, which we grow and propagate in-house. My wife’s a microbiologist, so she was very instrumental in selecting the proper yeast for this beer.”


    drink: Flaming Dr Pepper

    from: Brewskee’s Sports Bar & Grill, 5507 Valley Station Road

    ingredients: beer, amaretto, Bacardi 151

    What does the Flaming Dr Pepper taste like?​
    Brewskee’s owner James Ellifrits: “Like Dr Pepper.”

    Has it been on the menu for a long time?​
    Ellifrits: “Yes, for about 20 years. We have been here since ’97. We’ve been here for a long time in this neighborhood bar.”

    Who typically orders this drink?​
    Ellifrits: “Women with names like Julie. Usually a bunch of women drink it on the weekends.”


    drink: Christmas Colada

    from: Longboard’s Taco & Tiki, 302 Pearl St., Suite C (New Albany)

    ingredients: Name and ingredients not finalized at press time.

    “We do a riff on a piña colada each season. We did a pumpkin and espresso one for fall. This season will be a Christmas one,” says Zach Ruoff, general manager at Longboard’s. “The drink is going to have a refreshing mint flavor, with an added element of creaminess to really set off the holiday spirit. We may call it Peppermint Colada or Holiday Colada. It will be something you can sit around the fire and drink with a slice a warm apple pie. Or the churros on our menu.”



    This originally appeared in Louisville SWIG: Volume X, published in December 2018. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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