Last night’s bar tour stop was at Black Hoof Cocktail Bar. I was a little nervous going into this one. Jen Agg (the owner) is very knowledgeable and particular about how the drinks on her list, or drinks in general, are made. She is only 4 or five years older than I am, but has been doing this for about 10 years more than I have so I knew if I was going to learn something it would be last night.
I showed up and helped set up the bar which, unsurprisingly, is set up in such a way that despite having different infused liquors and syrups and bitters and two different types of cherries and 8-10 different glasses, was all very user friendly. It’s nice when someone that has been working bars for years is the one that sets up the bar.
We got busy right away, which my partner in crime for the night Renee said was rare for a Tuesday. Immediately I learned how to make a Lavender Hound,
Lavender Infused Gin
Lavender Maldon Rim
This take on a classic salty dog was really refreshing, and an easy sell to people who might not be in the mood for a hefty three ouncer, like my favorite on the BHCB list, The Hornet’s Nest
Punt e Mes
The first time I had this drink, it blew my mind that these ingredients could combine to make a rich, spicy flavor and was convinced that there was some kind of secret ingredient.
A little later a couple came in and recognized that I didn’t work there regularly so asked me to go off menu.
I came up with a drink sort of based in the Yellow Jacket from an event I did last month. But I used equal parts bourbon and Kraken Rum and straight honey. They loved it. I felt validated.
In all, this was the most comfortable I had felt behind a bar so far on this bar tour of mine. Maybe it’s because it was the same neighbourhood as I have been working for the past year and a half. Maybe it’s because I know Jen trusts me. Maybe it’s because these drinks were all about the same speed as what I had been making at Campagnolo. The important thing is that I felt good about it, and there is the possibility of me going back and working there more often.
Tonight I will be at a bar whose program is vastly different and I am equally excited. 1602 Dundas has a huge bourbon and scotch collection on their back bar and are hosting the try-outs for a hi-five championship that is modeled to approximate classic WWF. I really want to see how this works out.