Big Things Are Happening at Prohibition
The speakeasy-style bar launches a supper club, new menu, and a March 13 ‘fire sale’
Prohibition's Ryan Andrews is adding cocktail-pairing supper clubs to the bar's offerings.
When the owners of Gaslamp cocktail bar Prohibition bought the restaurant space upstairs, bartender Ryan Andrews finally had the kitchen—and chef—he needed to launch a supper club. It would feature cocktail pairings, of course, but with a twist. Instead of going the usual route, where a bartender comes up with a drink to match a dish, Andrews flipped it, and had Havana 1920 chef Anthony Porras come up with dishes to match Andrews’ cocktails. They did a successful trial run in February, serving cocktails made with Ron Zacapa rum paired with dishes like Porras’s delicious arepa de plátano maduro, a traditional Colombian appetizer that’s kind of like a savory pancake.
This month’s supper club, happening Monday, March 12, is going to be a traditional four-course Irish dinner with Jameson whiskey cocktail pairings. Tickets are $85 and include a pre-dinner social hour cocktail. I chatted with Andrews, who now oversees the beverage menus for three restaurants (Havana 1920, El Chingon, and Meze), in addition to Prohibition, about his plans for the supper club as well as Prohibition’s new cocktail menu, which launches March 14 (with a “fire sale” of the previous menu’s ingredients happening Tuesday, March 13—keep reading for details).
Now that you’ve got a restaurant above Prohibition, you’re able to do these supper clubs. I thought the first one was awesome. Did you think it went well?
It went better than I expected and everyone had a blast. That’s why we’re moving forward. We’ve got Jameson’s dinner on March 12th. We’re doing more of a traditional Irish dinner since it’s right before St. Patrick’s Day. We’re going to do a corned-beef and cabbage type of dinner. I have four different cocktails. One’s actually going to be a corned-beef, fat-washed Old Fashioned with a Guinness reduction and bitters. We’re also doing a vanilla porter reduction with a Jameson Caskmates Stout for our dessert cocktail.
And the supper club will continue monthly?
I want to do it twice a month, that’s the goal. For April, I have Henebery Whiskey and Cutwater Spirits lined up.
So Prohibition’s current menu has kind of a global theme—inspired by where you and your staff have traveled. What about the next menu?
The new menu launches on March 14. It’s all based on our experiences living in California. Tuesday, we’re going to have what I’m calling a fire sale, so all the infusions and all the liquors from the previous menu, we’re just going to blast them out, bartender’s choice, $8 all night, just to kind of liquidate product we’re not going to be using as often and then make room for the new menu.
So, California-themed: What does that mean?
We have a cocktail inspired by Humboldt County called Sip Down Be Humboldt after the Kendrick Lamar song. It’s going to have a Jameson Caskmates IPA whiskey, CBD hemp oil, an IPA reduction syrup, and cardamom bitters to kind of play off the elements of Humboldt County. We’ve got a cocktail for the Tahoe area where I grew up. It’s going to have what we’re calling a “forest-infused” demerara sugar syrup made with essential oils distilled down from six types of evergreen trees. That’s going to be paired with St. George Terroir gin, which has that heavy pine essence, and R&D Smoked bitters. It’s unique; it’s on there for the cocktail nerds.
[A few other new cocktails that look good: Fistful of Dynamite, made with El Silencio mezcal, tequila, Chareau Aloe liqueur, lemon, cucumber-Jalapeño agave, celery Bitters, and R&D Fire Bitters; Don’t Look Starboard, made with dashi-infused gin, lemon, honey, ginger, and sesame oil; and Candy Bracelets, made with Old Forester bourbon, lemon, blood orange, blackberry, demerara, and R&D House Bitters.]
And, one more question to wrap it all up: You're one of the founders of R&D Bitters—how’s that going?
We just launched in the state of Illinois, so we shipped out a pallet to Chicago and we’re currently working on a deal with the state of Texas because Slater’s 50/50 wants to bring us to their Austin and Dallas locations. Things have been great.