Sunday, January 27, 2013

Drink This: Prohibition Presidente at The Drum Room

Wandered into The Drum Room bar (in the President Hotel) after a dinner at nearby Webster House Saturday night. Our group of four needed a spot to have a drink or two and finish an evening of stories and laughs. The ladies ordered wine from a respectable list while the gents opted for cocktails. Like so many bars with handcrafted cocktails the list is populated with riffs on old standards tricked up with fresh ingredients and clever names. Befitting a bar in The President Hotel, many of their drinks have names that nod to former American Presidents. We started with Ford's Bramble Tonic ($8.50)  Billed as "President's Ford's Favorite" this was a mix of Pinckney Gin, Lemon Juice, Tonic, Homemade Tonic Syrup and Fresh Blackberries. Solid drink. No complaints.

By second round we were feeling a little more adventurous and quizzed the bartender about the Prohibition Presidente (also $8.50). The menu called out the ingredients as follows: Samogon, Lemon and Lime Wedges and Simple Syrup.

Samogon? What the heck is that? According to the bartender samogon is a Russian liquor and is often referred to as Russian Moonshine (OK you have my attention). It's produced from grapes (like grappa) but also from the “pomace” (seeds, stems, skins and residual juice) that remains after wine production. Bartender was kind enough to let us taste the samogon straight. We did and I wouldn't recommend drinking too much that way unless you are the hardiest of moonshine drinkers and regularly hang with guys like Snuffy Smith. Expertly mixed as it was in the Prohibition Presidente however, it became the base of a very special cocktail. The closest comparison I can make is with a Caipirinha - Brazil's most famous cocktail.

If you have the chance, drink this.

Prohibition Presidente - my new favorite cocktail.

Prohibition Presidente as described on the
Drum Room cocktail menu.

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