If a neighborhood joint can make itself a destination based on meatloaf alone, you can bet that when it turns its attention to cocktails they will be thoughtful, well-crafted, and artfully simple.
Northeast's Modern Cafe is known for scratch-made, sustainable diner fare, equal parts hipster and nostalgic -- and the drinks fall perfectly in line. Each classic cocktail or twist on an old standby is as handmade as can be -- like the fresh-squeezed juice, housemade pickles, and even sweet and dry vermouths created onsite. And they're all found in the Yellow Rattler.
If those near-legendary sweet and dry vermouths are any indication of what they've got up their sleeves behind the bar at Modern Café, we'll be back to sample some of the coffee liqueur sitting pretty next to a couple of old bowling trophies, or the vintage tequila sunrise made with crème de cassis and preserved fruits.
But enough about what could have been, let's talk about what was: an impressive roster of ingredients in this gin-based sipper, decadent, complex, and definitely boozy. Despite all the fancy-pants ingredients, it tasted just exactly like a half-melted "orange" flavored ice pop (in the best way). It felt youthful, and refreshing, and a little odd. And then pickled onion laying in wait crept up with a pungent bite -- a welcome, sharp, spicy bite with just enough venom to doctor up this classic cowboy cocktail.