Tag Archive for mixology

Alley 26

Alley 26
320 East Chapel Hill St.
Downtown Durham
Website
$9 to $12 per drink
4 pm to 2 am
(May I take this moment to say
I love a bar that posts a closing time?)

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To my disappointment, Alley 26, Durham’s newest upscale bar, is not located in an alley. It takes up actual streetfront property, though I’m sure the alley beside it will be used in nicer weather than we had when I tried it in February. I was pleasantly surprised to find the bar had more than a handful of patrons at 8 pm, mostly young professionals. That’s a good sign for me because I like mid-evening drinking but I hate feeling like the only person in a joint.

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The bartenders dress in today’s snazzy bar wear, namely nice vests over black pants and button-up shirts. Jazz plays over the stereo system, but none of that elevator music. Instead, a beautiful jazz lyricist sang loud and clear on the recordings. The vibe is somewhere between an antique saloon and a speakeasy with tables built of medium-colored wood and a row of benches covered by peach cushions that aren’t very comfortable but are somehow perfect because they make you feel like you’re at your cool, alcoholic great-aunt’s house. You know, Aunt Maude’s place.

(Insert standard apology for bad low-lighting pictures here. If anyone wants to be my 2.8 f/s or wider lens fairy godmother, you knock yourself out, okay?)

(Insert standard apology for bad low-lighting pictures here. If anyone wants to be my 2.8 f/s or wider lens fairy godmother, you knock yourself out, okay?)

The Corpse Reviver No. Twenty Six, the bar’s take on the standard concoction, is made with a North Carolinian apple brandy, Lillet rosé, Aperol, lemon, and a brut rosé. It’s a distinctly fruity corpse reviver with a gorgeous color. The citrus elements of the drink are delightful, and the mild bitterness of the Aperol counteracts the nearly peach flavor of the brandy. With light fizz tickling my tongue, I found it an exquisite, vibrant drink.

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Little Fŭk’ər at the Borough

Little Fŭk’ər
The Borough
Downtown Raleigh
$6.50

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I’ve been to the Borough twice now, and I love it as a casual night spot to relax with slightly trussed up comfort food and a good drink list. This is my second time drinking the Little Fŭk’ər as well. It’s made with bourbon, red apple Schnapps, butterscotch Schnapps, and ginger ale. The presence of ginger ale or club soda in a cocktail’s ingredient list is usually a sign I’ll think it’s watered down, but that’s not the case with the Little Fŭk’ər. Instead, the soda makes the sweeter Schnapps participants less cloying. I swear I can taste cinnamon, but that may be the red apple flavor playing games with my mind. Regardless, it entices me from one sip to the next. There’s no unpleasant alcohol burn from the bourbon, and the butterscotch serves as an invisible unifier of the other elements.

This is a nicely blended drink; all the ingredients melt into each other beautifully.

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Reviewed 26 Jan 13.

The Borough on Urbanspoon

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Nonfiction Bragging: Guest Post for the LoMo Market

Nonfiction Bragging: Guest Post for the LoMo Market

A few weeks back, I did some cocktail experimentation for the LoMo Market, and I didn’t have the chance until now to link you all to the post on it. It was a lot of fun, and I love when I get the chance to prove I’ve learned something from this little food and drink blog of mine.

The mission was to craft some cocktails that featured This and That Jam’s Muscadine grape and ginger cocktail syrup, and I came up with two combinations that I’m pretty proud of. Here’s your teaser:

This and That Jam is a great local company that makes jams and other canned goods and uses part of their proceeds to teach canning to the community at large. Canning is a super valuable skill (one that I’m too lazy to learn) and an excellent way to reduce food waste. Part of how This and That Jam accomplishes that goal is to use produce that might otherwise go to waste and create products from it.

I am charmed by their mission statements on the back of their jars.

I’m pretty sure this cocktail syrup comes from one of those experiments, and the unexpected combination of flavors is tickling my creative cocktail-making juices. The ingredients are grapes, organic sugar, homemade apple pectin, ginger, and spice…

If you’d like to see the cocktails, make sure you visit their blog. Happy drinking!

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