Edit ModuleShow Tags

The ABCs of Sycamore Den’s New Cocktail Menu

Aloe, banana, and celery are just three of the flavors you’ll find among these tasty new beverages


Published:

Sycamore Den's Aloe Can You Go cocktail. | Photo: Arlene Ibarra

Normal Heights’ Sycamore Den, which just celebrated its fourth anniversary, is one of those cocktail spots that serves consistently impressive drinks. The latest menu doesn’t disappoint. It features eight new cocktails, plus a Sycamore Den classic (the Wolf Ticket) and the Crime of Passion, a favorite from the most recent menu. I talked to Jesse Ross, the Den’s assistant manager, about the new menu and then realized the highlights of our chat fit nearly into a theme….

ABV: With big front windows that open onto Adams Avenue, Sycamore Den’s a great spot for some day drinking. But getting totally sloshed early on ruins good dinner plans. The menu features a couple low-ABV cocktails, like the Stalk Market (see below) and the Hunter Gatherer, which includes Jäegermeister and a spiced-raspberry-infused Cocchi Americano syrup. Low ABV cocktails are starting to show up on more menus, Ross says. “Not every drink needs 4- or 5-ounce pours of rum. It’s starting to be a conversation among bartenders about getting more health conscious.”

The Banana Bold Fashioned. | Photo: Arlene Ibarra

Aloe: The star of the menu is Aloe Can You Go. Made with tequila, Chareau Aloe liqueur, Liquid Alchemist’s tamarindo syrup, orange curaçao, and lemon, it’s a pretty damn perfect cocktail, and on my list of 2017 favorites. Ross said he’d set out to make something with tequila and tamarind, but couldn’t quite get it to work. Then he added the Chareau and everything came together. Garnished with a sprig of lavender and served in a coupe glass, it’s also mighty pretty to look at.

Averna: The Love Improved, a twist on a Manhattan, features Averna (a bittersweet amaro) that’s been infused with orange peels and cherries. Playing on the bittersweet theme, Ross added chocolate mole bitters and Punt e Mes, a sweet vermouth that leans bitter. The cocktail’s garnished with Averna-soaked cherries. It’s a boozy drink with lots of flavor, meant for sipping. If you dig spirit-forward cocktails, this is your jam.

Bananas: Speaking of spirit-forward riffs on classics, the Banana Bold Fashioned blends tropical with traditional. It’s made with Giffard Banane du Brasil liqueur, overproof rum, and bourbon. Velvet Falernum, a tiki staple, adds some sweetness. The cocktail’s garnished with rum-soaked banana chips that are set aflame before for fun and flavor. “You get this molasses, burnt sugar, rum, banana smoke with your first sip,” Ross says.

Celery: Fans of savory cocktails will dig the Stalk Market. It’s made with House Spirits’ Krogstaad Aquavit, fresh celery juice, vodka, and lemon. Taking inspiration from a cocktail by George’s at the Cove’s Stephen Kurpinsky, Ross added some acid phosphate to brighten up the drink and balance everything out. The effect is kind of like a Bloody Mary without the tomato juice. It’s refreshing, vegetal, and slightly savory. It’s the kind of cocktail you might find yourself craving on a warm Sunday afternoon.


Got a suggestion for a future post? Email me.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Have a Beer with the Second Chance Leadership Team

Marty Mendiola, Virginia Morrison, and Curtis Hawes talk past, current, and future plans for the brewery

Common Theory Public House Puts Craft Beer in the Spotlight

Chef A.G. Warfield aims to create food that not only improves with beer but enhances the beer itself

Grant Grill’s New Cocktail Menu Includes Unexpected Ingredients

Cory Alberto takes a culinary approach to the aviation-themed cocktails
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

9 Reasons You Need a Better Barber

Get the look and service you deserve at this East Village salon

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Fourth of July Guide 2017
    Celebrate Independence Day all weekend long with fireworks, festivals, parades, drink specials, and more
  2. The Oceanside Revolution
    The North County city has gone from an all-but annexed coastal town by Camp Pendelton to a thriving bed of culinary and artistic success.
  3. The Best of San Diego 2017
    Tacos, pasta, cocktails, spa treatments, and cool craft workshops—we’ve got 99 of the top picks in food, drink, fitness, beauty, and more
  4. 5 Places to Watch the Solar Eclipse in San Diego
    But safety first — don’t forget your eclipse viewing glasses!
  5. Will Weed Smoke Out Restaurants?
    New investment trends are creating challenges for local restaurateurs — for now
  6. First Look: Born & Raised
    Everyone said don't do a steakhouse. So the damn kids at Consortium Holdings did with Born & Raised—to the tune of seven million bucks.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module