West End Wine Bar
West Village, Durham
I love when bars creatively mix and match their spirits to come up with unique combinations you’d never expect. The Olivia had one of those descriptions I just had to try; Sauza hornitos tequila with the flowery St. Germain, sour mix, and cranberry juice. I couldn’t begin to guess how that would all taste together.
The answer? Not great. The tequila was difficult to taste at all and the white cranberry juice too mellow to contribute much to the drink’s layers. The dominating element was definitely the sour mix, and that is not a good thing for any drink. I personally think sour mixes 1). should always, always be made in-house, and I think this was bottled, and 2. should be used in small quantities and only to contrast with other bold flavors. None of the other ingredients were strong enough to stand up to it, though I did like the brief respites of elderflower once the sour mix washed away from each sip.
To sum up: Sometimes, experimentation goes awry.
Reviewed 1 Dec 11.
West End Wine Bar
601 Main Street
Warehouse District, Durham
West End Wine Bar opened up a Durham location a few months ago. Being a fan of the Chapel Hill flagship bar, I was excited to do so. This one is around the corner from the Amtrak station and, unfortunately, in the middle of the Main Street construction for the present. But you can still make your way into their plentiful parking lot and join the other West End Wine bar goers who have done the same. There were a healthy number of patrons for early on a Thursday night.
Durham’s WEWB has a similar setup to its Chapel Hill counterpart, though the lighting is somewhat lighter. There is a long, welcoming, wood-topped bar on the mezzanine floor with new black couches in the back of the room and plenty of small tables and chairs of the ubiquitous sparkling silver variety scattered around.
There is also a charming loft area with plenty more couches and a stairwell that is much less narrow and steep than the original location’s, which makes it both more accessible and less fun at the same time. Yes, I get excited by dark, narrow stairwells.
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