Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Night Out

We wanted a west side location, open on Sunday for a casual after dinner get together with our son and daughter-in-law. We ended up on the patio at Reddstone on W.76th and it proved to be a fine place for late night drinks with lots of August atmosphere.

It’s a really pretty spot, with strings of lights twinkling overhead, plenty of greenery plus a couple of big old trees that provides a leafy canopy. The surrounding fence separates it from the street, providing a sense of intimacy and privacy. Tables are scattered at different heights and angles and there’s a long bar in one corner. While the pub can’t take credit for clear skies, bright stars, and a temperature in the 70’s, they added to the ambience already on tap.

The minute I saw Death’s Door Gin as an ingredient in a cocktail they call the Cucumber Collins I had to have one. I had an opportunity to taste this spirit a couple of years ago when I did some research for Cooking Light Magazine about artisanal products made in the Midwest. This comes from Wisconsin and at that time was not sold in Ohio. The company sent me a bottle to try. I really liked the taste and the story- its distilled from organic sustainably grown and harvested red wheat and foraged juniper berries from Washington Island, plus organic malted barley, coriander and fennel sourced from within the state. You can pick up the botanicals, even in a mixed drink. In this case the dry London style gin was combined with muddled cucumbers, sour mix, and 7-UP. While not necessarily the most sophisticated creation or representative of the high art of from-scratch mixology- it was delicious, not too sweet and so refreshing, I just had to have a second one.
Being a family that shares, my daughter-in-law passed around her mason jar filled to the rim with a mixture of muddled clementine slices- hence the name My Darling Clementine- fresh sage, 360 Georgia Peach vodka and Izze sparkling juice. It too rated high on my personal pleasure scale.

Both drinks has certain summery quality and that got me thinking that the season is already in its final five weeks: fall officially begins September 22. All too soon the heat- which was often miserable this year- will be replaced by biting winds and wet stuff falling from the sky and piling up on driveways and decks. So make time to visit some patios now. There are plenty to love on both sides of town. In addition to Reddstone my personal recommendations- as much for the quality of the food and drink as for the lovely outdoor settings- are, in no particular order, Momocho, L’Albatros, Georgetown, Washington Place, Spice, Greenhouse Tavern rooftop, and of course the one and only Velvet Tango Room

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