With summer at the height of its powers and our thirst for refreshing cocktails nearly unquenchable, Hot Dish introduces the first installment of a series in which we ask local bartenders, "What's in your glass?"
To kick it off with a bang, we spoke to Dan Oskey and Birk Stefan Grudem of the hugely successful Hola Arepa. Oskey is the new restaurant's resident barman and Grudem runs the place with his fiancée, Christina Nguyen. Back in the day, this duo tended bar together at Longfellow Grill.
See also: Hola Arepa blooms in south Minneapolis
After discussing the usual summer suspects -- various rums, tequilas, and others -- they narrowed in on their answers.
What's in your glass? Dan Oskey: Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen
According to Oskey, the beauty of the Schofferhofer is that it's great straight from the can or mixed with gin or just about anything. And you don't have to feel guilty adding a jigger or two, as the grapefruit-flavored Hefeweizen from Frankfurt has only 2.5% alcohol by volume. The tasty wheat beer has been around in Germany for a while, with America just beginning to catch on to its fruity, but not cloying, brand of fun. It's the perfect summer swig, and surprisingly it's not too sweet. Hola has carried it for the last few months, according to the guys. Though Oskey drinks his right from the source, he offered up another way to enjoy the citrus wheat beer -- with tequila.
Schofferhofer and Tequila 1 can Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen 1 1/2 ounces tequila
Add the tequila to a chilled glass of Schofferhofer. Drink.
What's in your glass? Birk Stefan Grudem: Daiquiri
Grudem, who's tended bar at various joints around town in the past, stuck with a tried and true cocktail -- the standard (and delicious) daiquiri. The Hola version has a bit of a pedigree, as it combines two distinct rums: Smith and Cross, a mix of the heavy-bodied Wedderburn and medium-bodied Plummer styles of rum, and Wray & Nephew, a high-strength white rum. These have some firepower, coming in at 114 and 126 proof, respectively, and come combined with gomme syrup, a variation on simple syrup that gives a drink a silkier feel with the addition of some gum arabic, and lime juice. Most of the work comes in shaking it up right.
Daiquiri (at Hola Arepa) 1 ounce Wray and Nephew rum 1 ounce Smith and Cross Jamaican rum 3/4 ounces gomme syrup (recipe here) or simple syrup 1 ounce lime juice
Pour the rums, syrup, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake well. Strain and pour into a coupe glass.
Enjoy these lovely concoctions either on your own patio or at Hola Arepa. Word is that these guys may be churning out drinks from their mighty Blendtec very soon.
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