Naturally, my first thoughts for an opening line were – goin’ up, on a Tuesday. So let me tell you about my Tuesday at Lock & Key. First, let me just start by thanking Janet, Lock & Key’s bar manager for setting up the event and inviting us over. The event being Lock & Key’s Winter Cocktail sampling, which was a real treat for us. The night started at around 8pm in the patio of Lock & Key. The long tables covered in black cloth, topped with beautiful floral center pieces (fresh white flowers), and a tall glass of (mint/lemon) water for a palate cleanse. The table spread though was just a touch to what the night was about to offer.
Also greeting us at the table was the cocktail menu for the night which included 7 of their newest additions, 8 if you count their new cocktail punch. The night was started off with some tacos, delightfully so. It was taco Tuesday, so we weren’t mad at that at all. Those quickly became a thing of the past once the cocktails started to roll out. Now, let’s be honest for a second before the drinks come out. Personally, I’m not a big cocktail kind of guy. I’ve had my share of some really good ones and really bad ones, but I only moderately drink cocktails because I generally prefer beer. Like I said, that’s just me. Now, let’s get reading drunk.
First up – The Admiral’s Daughter.
Rum, lemon, caramelized pineapple syrup, egg white, almond extract, bergamot bitter.
Initial thoughts on the first sips was “whoa, this is strong, but good.” From scent, you could tell it was going to be mildly strong, and smokey. The egg white was a nice touch, almost like giving it a light touch of whipped cream. What I really enjoyed about this drink was Lock & Key’s signature caramelized pineapple syrup. It truly gave it that sweet bitterness that was really enjoyable.
Second – Winter Rose
Gin, Cheareau Liqueur, lemon, simple syrup, ginger, hibiscus flower syrup, orange bitters, rose water.
Ok, so I’d be lying if I said this drink didn’t make me cringe a bit. The smell of Gin can be a little overwhelming for me sometimes, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Overall it was a fresh and light drink, easy to sip on. It really took on its name, giving you hints of a fresh rose and the ginger made it that much more enjoyable.
Third – For Your Eyes Only
Cognac, Whiskey, Red vermouth, green chartreuse, egg, angostura & peychaud bitters, cinnamon, nutmeg.
So the two things you instantly take away from this is – cognac & egg, I know, that seems kind of weird right? Wrong. It was a delightful take on an age old cocktail that has plenty of history behind it. The bitters themselves are truly an age old tale given their history. Overall, it’s smokey warm body is evident to the ingredients inside it. It wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it was going to be. The cinnamon & nutmeg were also a great contrast to all the flavors.
Fourth – El Chapo
Mescal, Aperitif wine, orange bitters, orange peel.
Speaking of taking on their name, this one was pretty on point. Mezcal, which is becoming more and more trendier is the strong point of the drink. If you want something almost like having a glass of mezcal neat, you’ll enjoy this. It is on the strong side, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying this simple yet complex sipper.
Fifth – Bewitched
Tequila, Gin, sweet vermouth, luxardo maraschino, peychaud bitters, sour cherry bitters, lemon.
Continuing on the strong trend, this drink was the strongest of them all and designed to be so. Almost like taking a shot, you won’t miss a single taste of spirit in this one. I overheard someone saying it tasted like black cherry, and I couldn’t have agreed more. Still, it was that cocktail you want if you’re sippin’ for a quick buzz. Nothing wrong with that, we won’t judge you.
Sixth – Hemingway Holiday
Ginger & Spiced Rum, lime, caramelized pineapple syrup, candied ginger.
This cocktail was the winner of the night in my book and also the only one pictured (below). As you can see, it had a light, but smokey body. Who wouldn’t love a ginger & spiced rum. Also, the delicious caramelized pineapple syrup made its appearance again and delightfully so. Overall, as I mentioned it was probably the best one (in my opinion) if you want something easy to sip on throughout the night, over and over again. Although, I overheard a few people saying ‘it was too sweet’ or ‘it was too sour’ for their liking, I thought it had a perfect balance. Just try it for yourself and thank us later.
Seventh – Up N’ Up
Bourbon, apple, lemon, egg white, maple syrup, ginger, walnut & angostura bitters, nutmeg.
If theres such thing as a runner-up to all this, it would be this one. Bourbon and apple almost always can go hand in hand. With egg white, nutmeg, and maple syrup come into the picture you have yourself a Winter wonderland. Enjoyable, dark, also smokey and sweet it’s an easy choice for anyone. As the name mentions, you’ll be up n’ up with every sip. Enjoy the holiday vibes.