by Steven Doyle
By now I trust you all have checked in at Origin Kitchen + Bar. The new hot spot opened back in December, and features some pretty amazing menu choices both in food and cocktails. The restaurant is quaint, which is always nice. The restaurant serves great food, and that is definitely is a good thing. And the restaurant has fantastic cocktails, which is fabulous. We were alerted by a dedicated Origin regular that the new cocktail menu was released yesterday, so I hightailed it over to McKinney Avenue for a taste test.
The unique craft cocktail menu, developed by Bar Manager Jacob Boger, features house-made infusions, syrups, juices, vermouth and salt. Yes, he infuses salt. I had heard of flavored salts where herbs and other flavors are mixed into a batch of salt, but never where a sturdy salt is actually bathed in another liquefied flavor to pass on subtle notes that allow the salt to break down in your mouth with levels of sweetness to shades of saltiness. Pure genius.
Try one of the cocktails laced with a lava salt such as the Margarita Hayworth. The resemblance to your typical margarita are slight at best. This pink version is made with Sotol, a distilled spirit similar to tequila but made with the plant called a Desert Spoon, and well as celery, fresh strawberry puree and lime juice. The result is a beautiful glass decorated with the lava salt, and a taste that very balanced and refreshing. Oh, Rita. We hardly knew you.
Another favorite is the Russian Tea Room made with blackberry, and green tea infused American Harvest Vodka, basil, mint and soda. I loved the herbaceous cocktail that had a slight fruitiness that begged for another sip.
The Whiskey Priest is a fine cocktail made with Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey. If you are still shooting Irish Whiskey that is not Tullamore DEW, you are missing out on flavor and extreme smoothness that its counterparts are not able to offer. The Priest also is made with a poppy liqueur and blackstrap rum. Ask for a taster of both for a flavor bender that melds very well into this glass. The rum offers a sweet but heady molasses note, and the the poppy cuts both the rum and whisky with is striking sweetness. The result is both fair and balanced, as all cocktails should be.
Look for your favorite local brews on tap, including the mighty Velvet Hammer.
Oh, did we mention they serve some delicious food at Origin? We never got that far, but enjoyed our ride home with Lyft. And sorry for the title, I thought it would be fun to do at least one of those in my life.