Wednesday, December 21, 2011


1 1/2 oz Cardamaro
1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1/4 oz Averna
1 dimespoon Pernod Absinthe (~1/16 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

On Wednesday, I decided to check out the newly opened Brick & Mortar in Central Square. I actually had not seen the space since it was an Indian restaurant over 8 years ago for I never made it to the previous inhabitants, the Enormous Room. While many of the tables were filled, I was able to find a seat at the elongated C-shaped copper-topped bar where I was greeted by bartender Evan Harrison not surprisingly wearing one of his standard plaid shirts. Between the barstaff and location, it was easy to feel at home even with the stark brick walls. The soundtrack at the bar is driven by turntables playing album sides; one thing I enjoyed was how the music was present but not blaring like it can be at certain establishments. From the menu, I requested the Teardrop. I later asked bar manager Misty Kalkofen about the drink. She described how the recipe was one of the first successes she had for the new menu. I was curious about the name, and Misty explained that bar owner Patrick Sullivan has a notebook of names that he wants to find homes for; this system works for Misty for she constantly comes up with drinks needing names.
The Teardrop presented herbal notes from the absinthe and Ransom Old Tom over vegetal ones from the Cardamaro. The Cardamaro's vegetal wine flavors contributed greatly to the sip. Finally, the swallow started with the Ransom Old Tom's savory herbal notes followed by the caramel notes of the Averna, and finished with light anise notes from the absinthe. Overall, the Teardrop was aperitif-y in strength and feel and made for a good start of the evening. Moreover, the drink reminded me of another Ransom Old Tom Gin drink I had recently, the century old Angelus sans orange notes from William Schmidt's The Flowing Bowl.


Ryan said...

When I went on a Sunday night it was quite empty, which made it feel all the more spartan. I thought the copper Blbar surface was quite interesting, but I could already see spots of oxidation. It seems like it will require a fair bit of maintenance. Having a yen for malt, I had a Prince of Donegal and a Sentimental Gentleman, of which I enjoyed the latter more. I agree with you that the music setup was pretty nice. While I liked many aspects of the place and will certainly return, it just didn't strike me as the most comfortable environment in which to have a drink.

frederic said...

I definitely noticed all the oxidation staining and commented to Andrea later that they'd better have a good barback with some elbow grease to keep that bar spotless. I believe the next drink write up will show a few spots.

That night, there were a good number of people and the energy was high. I could see that with fewer people, it would seem quite different. One of the things I liked about the oval bar is that you can see something other than the wall of bottles 6 feet in front of you, but you can see others. That way it felt a little more open. Plus, while I like what they did with Hawthorne, it was good to see a bar take an opposite approach.