21 April 2011

Beachbum Berry Article

"The chocolate put us in mind of Willy Wonka, which put us in mind of Tony Conigliaro. The latter is often compared to the former, and we found out why on our first visit to Tony’s bar, 69 Colebrook Row. Upstairs is a drink lab that rivals Wonka’s factory, with gleaming, whirring machines that can actually remove the alcohol from a spirit, and then put it back again. Another of Tony’s experiments — aging cocktails as you would wine or spirits — yields truly spectacular results. Downstairs in his cozy, convivial saloon, we sampled an El Presidente aged six months, and another aged a full year; after a palate-cleansing house Mojito sorbet, presented on a spoon by courtly Colebrook barman Marcis Dzelzainis, we assayed a one-year Manhattan and a six-year Manhattan. All four barrel-aged drinks tasted as if the individual ingredients had merged on a cellular level, in a kind of reverse mitosis: the aged Manhattan still tasted like a Manhattan and the Presidente like a Presidente, but both cocktails seemed to be composed of a single ur-ingredient — one that sprang whole from Zeus’s thigh, like Dionysis himself — and not a composite blend of vermouth, bitters, and base liquor. On our next visit to 69 Colebrook Row, we fully expect to see Donn Beach conversing with Madame Curie — both reanimated by the newest miracle potion from Tony’s lab (pictured below, with Tony at work)."

Thanks to Jeff for this. Read the full article over at Beachbum Berry.

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