6 October, 2016
Specialty Cocktails at Albany’s Ivy RoomPosted in : Bars and Tasting Rooms, Tequila on by : The Gourmez
The Ivy Room
Back in March, I visited the Ivy Room soon after its redesign and re-opening. Since then, they have added specialty cocktails to their full bar, and whichever bartender has developed them deserves a raise!
Sure, a full bar ensures you can always get your favorite drink when you want it, but I love bartenders that come up with inventive drinks I wouldn’t think of on my own. Ivy Room is doing just that, and I’ve managed to try half of them over the course of two trivia nights.
Connect the Dots
The Connect the Dots, pictured above, features El Jimador tequila infused with habanero, agave, and fresh lime and watermelon juices. The color is beautiful, and despite that strong pink, the watermelon presence is only strong enough to delight rather than dominate. It hugs the heat kick all the way down your gullet. My only suggestion is to serve it up rather than on the rocks. 3.5/5
I knew the Wildcat had my number the moment it combined two hard-to-balance ingredients, Green Chartreuse and Luxardo maraschino liqueurs, with mezcal. I admit skepticism upon reading the description, as those can all be challenging to do well in cocktail form, but the bartender demonstrated a masterful skill at making unexpected combinations. Mezcal smokiness envelops the peppery, horehound element of Chartreuse, providing restraint. Their interplay gives the impression of a cumin and ancho chile rim, though the drink has none. The maraschino liqueur yields a beautiful wash of berry that reminds you of better days as the drink goes down. 5/5
Those two cocktails together are enough to raise my rating of Ivy Room up a notch, but throw in the adult slushies churning behind the bar—
—and you’ve got a local hangout with market savvy hidden behind a sheen of pure fun. Go on, stay awhile.
860 San Pablo Avenue
Cocktails consumed 31 August 2016.