Today's must-try libation from our booze columnist Zach Geballe.
When I initially reviewed Miller’s Guild, I was most taken by the “Scout’s Honor,” a combination of bourbon, maple syrup, and pine liqueur, garnished with a smoked salt rim. The drink was perched at the convergence of sweet, savory, and salty, which made it complex and compelling. So when I stopped by the bar the other day, I knew what I wanted. Sadly, the rendition that I got during a relatively busy early-evening rush was a far cry from the drink I’d loved. Instead of balance, it tasted like boozy maple syrup. The smoked salt, which in the first version had coated half the rim and provided a lovely additional flavor, was but a mere smudge on a small part of the glass.
Having been a bartender in a busy restaurant, I understand how this can happen. Sometimes you have to really work to get drinks out. But quality (and quality control) are always important, and a drink that looked (let alone tasted) like mine should never have gone to a table. Such are the growing pains of a new restaurant, I’m afraid.
Zach Geballe does a lot of drinking. When he’s not working at The Dahlia Lounge or for his business Vine Trainings, he’s studying for the Court of Master Sommeliers Exam. His weekly column here at Seattle Weekly, The Bar Code, endeavors to inspire, educate and sometimes poke fun at all things beer, wine and spirits related.