From the ground to your glass...
On Tuesday evening, I headed to Arlington's Tallula/EatBar to sample their fall menu. Since I just included one of mixologist Gina Chersevani's new fall concoctions in an article on savory cocktails, I was looking forward to finally sampling her new drinks in person.
We started with Beetiful Bubbles, which was Cava topped with beet simple syrup and a dried beet chip. (This replaces her other take on the Champagne cocktail on the restaurant's menu, which was Cava topped with horseradish syrup and a piece of dried horseradish.) I love love love beets, so I just knew I'd gravitate towards this drink. Of course the color was beautiful. The sweetness and earthiness of the beets struggled with each other (in a good way), but kept the drink pretty balanced (the bubbles helped too.)
Next was Forest Fauna--or what guests were calling "alcoholic broth." Gina simmer porcini mushrooms with Pernod, coriander, and fennel seeds to make a consomme, to which she adds Bluecoat Gin and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, and garnishes it with a dried mushroom piece and sprig of thyme. The Pernod aroma is intoxicating, and since it's served heated, it warms you up inside pretty quickly (or was that from the gin???)
Finally we sipped Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice, which was lovely (the crowd favorite, it seemed to be). Gina takes fresh pumpkin, cooks it, juices it and strains it several times to get fresh pumpkin juice. Next she simmers it with cinnamon, sugar and cardamom. Finally, she adds spiced rum (she prefers Captain Morgan or Myers), and garnishes it with a touch of creme fraiche on the side of the cocktail glass, grated nutmeg, and a toasted, curried pumpkin seed (I could have eaten an entire bowl of those...along with whatever Cava happened to be leftover from the beet cocktail...)
Gina told us that her inspiration for these creations was fall ingredients that happen to grow in the ground. These and other great liquid options are on Tallula and EatBar's menu.