January 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 33 of 43 34 • January/February 2015 SCENE By Kelly A. Magyarics Grabbing a drink in Nashville can involve throwing back a few beers at a crowded honky-tonk while listening to a live country band that may be the Next Big Thing. But Nashville is also home to a growing number of bars and restaurants with seriously impressive craft cocktail programs. Here are a few that embrace their Southern roots while incorporating modern and seasonal ingredients, trends and techniques. HUSK This 108-seat convivial restaurant in an 1880s-era home graces Nashville's Rutledge Hill neighborhood. Central to the concept is Husk's celebration of Southern ingredients led by chef Sean Brock, with a daily-changing menu and a bar that encourages sipping both locally and seasonally. "The bar shares the same ideals as the kitchen," says Husk general manager Kenny Lyons. "We celebrate the ingredients available during each day, week and month, throughout the year." Bar manager Mike Wolf procures and forages wild ingredients around Central Tennessee, using them for house-made ingredients including am- aro, nocino, bitters, cordials, tinctures and garnishes. Rye and bourbon cocktails are always top sellers on the 12-drink menu, which is catego- rized from lightest to boldest. For instance, the Jiro Dreams of Whiskey ($12), a cold-weather take on the Old Fashioned, is made with Tennessee's Belle Meade bourbon, Jiro persimmon cordial, spiced cherry and aromatic bitters and allspice. The Belle of Georgia ($12) mixes Weller 107 bourbon, smoked bourbon pecan cordial, tobacco bitters and muddled Georgia peaches. The Garden of the Gods includes Pisco 100, St. George Agricole rum, lavender cordial, chamomile tincture, lime and grapefruit juice. The herbal Nordic Shipwreck ($12) shakes up Linie Aquavit, Manzanilla sherry and lemon with a caraway-thyme syrup and a dill flower garnish. Oenophiles will find a 50-selection wine list that Husk organizes by color and then by soil type to showcase the notion of terroir. "That's what is so fascinating about wine: The exact same grape or clone can be treated the exact same way, but because of the soil and climate, it can be remarkably different," says Lyons. The focus on wines from small, family-owned estates is in line with the kitchen philosophy of selecting indigenous products that show a sense of place. No wine bottle price exceeds $100, and the list evolves as the seasons and the cuisines do. Lyons is excited to see Nashville's cocktail culture continue to grow, and would love to see some themed concepts—a Tiki bar is at the top of his wish list. "With the rise in cocktail knowledge amongst people in town, the cocktail scene is just beginning to take hold. Nashville is definitely trending to being a more progressive scene." THE PATTERSON HOUSE It's not uncommon to see singers, actors, sports stars and other celebri- ties at this 68-seat cozy cocktail bar, named for the Tennessee governor who vetoed the return of statewide Prohibition. The Patterson House was designed with the classic speakeasy in mind, with dim lighting, tiled INSIDE FOUR FRESH NASHVILLE CONCEPTS COCKTAILING IN MUSIC CITY Photo Credit: Husk Nashville Photo Credit: Ron Manville The Garden of the Gods pisco/rum cocktail at Husk. The Juliet and Romeo gin drink at The Patterson House. ceiling, chandeliers, dark wood tables and bar, book-lined shelves, vintage mirrors, and a curtain separating the lobby from the bar and table area. Small plates and shareable bites of new American bar food are joined by an im- pressive, seasonally edited drinks menu. The list includes a Classic Cocktails sec- tion with 14 drinks, while the rest of the 38 libations offered are categorized ac- cording to base spirit; all are priced at $12. "It's a lot of fun to have the classic cocktails—the originals, the best—as your base, and then incorporate more modern

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