Drawing inspiration from his travels and La Condesa's food menu, bar manager Nate Wales incorporates lesser known ingredients into the drinks. He uses sotol in a spin on the Salty Dog, and mixes up his own fermented pineapple spirit for an unusual margarita. Here are 5 recipes so you can make these drinks at home.
'Austin TX' on Serious Eats
On a dehydrated, electrolyte-suppressed morning, the late-summer sun in Austin somehow feels even hotter. When I finally dragged myself into an outpost of the popular chain Chuy's, the chips and salsa on my table evoked rumbles from my empty stomach.
The newly designed space suggests a Victorian-era brothel, with antique mirrors, plush leather booths, and lush wallpapers. A sultry vibe lingers in the private rooms in the back. Flick on the signal light switch and someone will come to your service. Here's our first look at the cocktails they're serving.
Weatherup, a renowned NYC bartender and the proprietor of Weather Up in Brooklyn, and Tribeca, first visited Austin to watch a friend's bike race and quickly grew fond of the city. "Austin has lots of great coffee, beer, and cocktails, and a lot of good energy," she says. So she trucked her philosophy down to Texas—the third and latest Weather Up is located on Cesar Chavez in East Austin. Wanting to "go big and do it Texas style", the menu at the Austin branch contains 108 classic cocktails.
New bar manager Jason Stevens offers an ambitious new cocktail menu at Bar Congress in Austin. His focus on crafting his own ingredients to boost flavors in his cocktails borders on obsession. Stevens looked to Colonial-American fruit preserving methods and makes a number of seasonal shrubs, and he jazzes up a boring gin and tonic with hop-infused gin and a homemade tonic spiced with herbes de Provence, grapefruit peel, cassia, and black pepper. Here's a preview of his newest creations.
When creating the funky yet uncomplicated drinks menu, the bar staff, led by Kendra Thompson, decided against sticking to pre-prohibition classics. As she explained, many Austin bars already excel that style, and it doesn't suit the vibe at Lucy's. Instead, the menu draws from the classics for inspiration, but syncs the drinks with their largely deep-fried food offerings. Lots of herbs, citrus, and ginger to help cut through the richness of chicken-fried-everything from gizzards, deviled eggs, to yup, mountain oysters.