Cornucopia of Housemade Ingredients
Essex is trying to make everything in house that they can, which means a plethora of carefully concocted potions and potables behind the bar, waiting to take part in the next cocktail.
The tequila, originally ‘reposado’, is now nearly ‘añejo,’ after having spent nearly five months aging while the former umbrella shop space was becoming a bar.
70th Street Sour ($10)
The strength of the red wine (Barbera) gives this drink an almost sangria-like flavor, but the Campari acts out of character by mellowing, and the rye and lemon round it out.
Bar Manager Gary Abts
Fresh from opening La Bête on Capitol Hill, Gary takes part in the crafting of both the ingredients, like the house-made Grand-Marnier-like liqueur they're calling Burg’s Extra-Special Orange, and the cocktails.
Queen Mary ($10)
Gary Abts pointed to this as his favorite of the dozen-ish items on the cocktail menu. A spicy dive into savory cocktails, this is the evening drinker’s Bloody Mary. With light tomato water replacing thick tomato juice, and pickled chile brine providing the heat and flavor, the whole drink begs for more refinement than a classic Mary, so the spirit is gin, not vodka.
Burg’s Extra Special Orange
Named for co-owner Molly Wizenberg’s father, this is the team's take on Grand Marnier, aged four months in rye barrels. It can be found in cocktails like the ‘H.M.S. Theodore Roosevelt,’ alongside gin, Campari, and sparkling wine.
Whales on a Wall
Look closely at the mesmerizing wallpaper pattern on the seating side of the narrow space, and you’ll see many happy whales. A stark contrast to the minimalist white tiles on the bar side, it emphasizes the personal and slightly quirky nature of the bar.