The bar at Brasserie Zentral is a great place to enjoy a well-made cocktail in a decidedly non-rock 'n' roll atmosphere. And that suits bartender Trish Gavin to a T. She's more than happy to preside over a bar that caters to adults where you can make pleasant conversation over Old Fashioneds without having to yell or worry about stepping in something sticky.
Yes, she'll make you a delicious Frueling Negroni or Garden Gimlet, but we're turning the tables. What about Trish herself -- what the heck is she drinking these days? That's what the intrepid Hot Dish went downtown to find out in this edition of "What's in your glass?"
Gavin has been exploring various gins this summer, and on her own time she tends to default to wine, as she's studying to take the level one and two sommelier exams and also loves to sample the unusual selection offered at Brasserie (like Austrian and German rosés). And there's always whiskey, which she calls "the bartender's friend." But truth be told... she admits that there is another drink that she regularly imbibes.
What's in your glass? Trish Gavin: Chilled Becherovka with a Maiden Rock Honeycrisp Hard Apple Cider chaser
It may be a simple shot/chaser duo, but it's Gavin's workaday shift drink -- the libation that makes everything better after a long night of serving the public. Made from a secret recipe of botanicals and spices, Becherovka is a Czech herbal liqueur made with what seems to be cinnamon, anise, and clove, among other things. It's been around since 1807, and word is that only two people on earth know the exact formula of the 76-proof libation. The taste reminds one of the holidays, but without the usual heavy or thick sweetness associated with wintry drinks. The Wisconsin-born Maiden Rock Honeycrisp Hard Apple Cider follows it up with a bit of refreshing, crispy carbonation. Keep this combo in mind as winter rolls around, especially if you're not one for eggnog or other milky drinks.
While Gavin enjoys this as pictured (plenty chilled, please), one of the most common cocktails made with Becherovka is a simple mix with tonic. Called a Beton (the name is simply a mash-up of the ingredients that means "concrete" in Czech), it makes a great summertime sipper.
Beton 2 ounces Becherovka 4 ounces tonic water Lemon wedge (optional)
Fill a Collins or highball glass with ice. Pour the Becherovka over the ice. Add tonic water to taste. Squeeze lemon wedge and add to glass, if desired.
Stop on by Brasserie Zentral to see Trish and ask for Becherovka neat, on the rocks, in a beton, or in some other concoction (see the official Becherovka site for ideas). She'll happily make you something tasty to go with your foie gras.
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