Aroma therapy (drinkable kind)

Loving the farm-to-glass cocktails, made with herbs grown in the bar’s back garden and peppers grown by Unko Ernie? On Wednesday you have a chance to partake of bartenders, er mixologists, other obsession: Vintage cocktails. Michelin-starred barman Brian Van Flandern (Bemelmans Bar, Per Se) released his book Vintage Cocktails last year and for decades King of Cocktails Dale DeGroff has been keeping old-school recipes alive (he added the Prohibition-era citrusy classic Bees Knees to the Lewers Lounge menu—try it, you’ll like it). And just like they’re hunting down fresh, local ingredients, bartenders are now on the prowl for old-world liqueurs and potions once used in the early days of cocktails.

The source for these concoctions—Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette, Blume Marillen Apricot Eau de Vie—is Eric Seed, founder of Minnesota-based Haus Alpenz. His raison d’être is locating and importing these specialty spirits. It just so happens that this week’s Wine Down at Town features Mr. Seed. Three cocktails using apéros you’ve probably never heard of before will be paired with three small bites from the kitchen. It’s going to be a GOOD one. And just $25. I’ve got my reservation.

Sitting at the Town bar last week, for the first time I noticed what an esoteric bar the skilled Dave Power stocks. Three apéritif, or aromatic, wines that bartenders are going gaga over are Cocchi Apertivo Americano, Bonal Gentiane-Quina and Dolin Vermouth de Chambèry—one from Italy and two from France, all of them around for more than 100 years—and Power has the trio. Multilayered vermouth-ish sips—Martini+Rossi is like Kool-Aid after you try these.

Wine Down, every Wednesday 6:30pm at Town, 3425 Wai‘alae Ave at 9th Ave, 735-5900.
Reservations are a must.


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