In the continuing saga in search for the perfect Pisco Porton cocktail in Dallas we came up with another draw this week. As we take down sections of the city by storm our intrepid group set its goggles on the Central Expressway corridor visiting some powerful cocktail dens, including the very new Smyth located just off Knox on Travis.
To catch you up, we have been invited as an emissary of libations by Pisco Porton to sample a variety of cocktails using their spirit. Pisco is made with tradition in Peru using a variety of grapes to develop a spirit as the Spanish settlers did in the 16th century.
Our first stop was to La Duni in Northpark to visit our favorite Peruvian cocktalier Daniel Gillen who is responsible for the bar at each location corporate-wide, but sets up shop in the famous North Dallas mall. Here Daniel served up a few snacks from the kitchen while we watched glassware float and ice cubes clink. The Pisco flowed freely with such stout concoctions as a Pachamama (means mother earth in Quechua a native and official language of Peru) using Pisco, vermouth, Fernet Branco and house-made coffee bitters and a twist of orange. This drink is sophisticated and will take the edge off a rough afternoon.
Our next location was to the new bowling lanes across the freeway in the Shops of Park Lane at Bowl and Barrel. Here we met up with Ian Reilly the bar manager who works endless hours to perfect his craft and to cure the thirst of his eager patrons. The management was so taken with Ian’s opening cocktail menu they have given him carte blanche behind the bar and a new menu is imminent.
At this point we had picked up a few friendlies and were buying cocktails for a larger and indecisive group. Ian had prepared a few tasty cocktails for us to enjoy, but instead chucked the ideas and developed individual drinks based on each person’s taste. The drinks flew out from behind the stick quickly as the young barman went into a frenzied pour.
Next on our list was Central 214 where the boys mixed up the traditional Chilcano, a tall, refreshing drink, purportedly introduced by 19th-century Italian immigrants, combines Pisco with ginger ale, bitters and a splash of lime juice.
Our next visit was to Smyth where bar manager Omar Yeefoon did a twist on the traditional Pisco Sour, the most delicious way to enjoy the spirit and still get your daily intake of egg white.
Our next venture will be this Thursday when we discover the cocktail magic in both the Design District and Oak Cliff. We will get an early start and a waiting cab to venture us through another evening of Pisco Porton.