Yesterday, new D intern James Bright visited with the barmen at Bailey’s Prime Plus to learn about their new summer bar menu. Take it away, James:
Even in this time of the cult of mixologists, tracking down a well-mixed, moderately priced cocktail is, let’s just say it, hard. Either the drink is decent, but is a bit too pricey, or it’s terrible and the cost reflects the taste. On Tuesday night, Bailey’s Prime Plus on Park Lane in Dallas released 11 drinks that actively defy this quandary.
jump for the story and more pics…
Most of the beverages fall between $9 and $11 and contain a decent amount of alcohol, but that’s not the selling point. Each drink is made with 100 percent fresh produce, a nuance that is still relatively unheard-of but is the defining feature that sets Bailey’s apart.
Head Barman Anthony “Polo” was kind enough to let me sample four of the illustrious 11, and I was not disappointed.
First was the aptly named Jasmine. At $9 this drink is the perfect substitute for the tired old mojito. Composed of Jasmine Bombay Gin, lemon, club soda, and kumquat, the Jasmine has an oddly pleasing taste that will take patrons out of their comfort zone in the best way possible. Topped off with a few sprigs of lavender, the Jasmine creates a sweet-and-sour sensation that will make this drink an instant favorite.
In direct contrast to the Jasmine is the Amante Sour. This $10 cocktail utilizes Barsol Pisco, lime, and egg whites. While last ingredient may seem unexpected, it gives this concoction its grounding flavor. Mixoligist and Bailey’s drink consultant Eddie “Lucky” Campbell says a Pisco Sour is to Peru what the Margarita is to Mexico and the Mojito is to Cuba. Amante means affair in Spanish, so it’s fitting that his interpretation thrusts together such odd flavors. It’s close to the Pisco Sour, but fans of the original drink may feel like they’re committing an act of infidelity.
Another stand-in for the mojito is the Garden Gimlit. This is a good introduction to anyone who isn’t familiar with gin, but it’ s the vegetables that set the Gimlit apart. Fresh basil, cucumber, lime and ginger mixed with Hendrick’s Gin create a salad in a glass. This beverage may not be for everyone though. It’s slightly bitter, and the herbal combinations may offend the palate of some drinkers. Others will be drawn to its originality. For $10, the Gimlit has the potential to become a classic at Bailey’s.
Lastly there is a new take on a classic. The Margarita Matadores combines Amber Reposado Tequila, agave, orange blossom water, and ginger. The combination of the ginger and agave is a bit strange at first, but after a few sips the agave and orange blossom flavors meld, providing a nice aftertaste. That’s not the most enticing feature of this drink though. With only 275 calories the Matadores gives weight-conscientious consumers a low-ish cal option.