It’s prime patio weather, which means you need to head to one of Hillcrest’s prettiest patios – Ciao Baci. While you’re there, it couldn’t hurt to have a taste or two of the new drink menu. This time around there’s an ode to NOLA, a few classic staples, and summery drinks that’ll have you sipping on sunshine.
First up, the True French 75. Bar Manager Neil Pedrick says that he’s making the drink how it was originally conceived – with cognac and not gin. He explains, “According to the Arnaud’s French 75 Bar down in New Orleans, [The French 75] was invented by an Englishmen and it had cognac in it. … When he went back to England, because of the love hate relationship between the French and the English, he started to put gin in it, instead.”
Pinky out with your newfound drink knowledge and get ready to partake in a combination of Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac, Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice, a Splash of Simple Syrup and Chilled Champagne. Trust me, you’ll fee perfectly refreshed with flute in hand.
If you’d rather have something with a hint of fruit, opt for the Naughty Lemonade. Pedrick says, “That one was made for the patio.” And it’s true.
The combination of Blueberry, Raspberry and Strawberry Smirnoff Vodka, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade and a Splash of Raspberry Liquor over ice will have you saying, “Ahhhhh.”
If you’re looking for something even sweeter, try the Turtle Dove. This drink was actually conceived in order to use up the excess Gosling Dark Rum Pedrick had on hand. He found the recipe in a book, and says, “It tastes exactly like sweet Mascarpone.” He’s right. The Turtle Dove packs a nuanced flavor, with Luxardo Amaretto, Gosling’s Dark Rum, and Orange Juice. It’s sweet, tangy, and fit for dessert.
The menu also boasts of a few things not photographed here. For instance, you can’t go wrong with the Red Sangria – a house made concoction with wine, orange juice, and brandy. If you’re ordering it you’ll want to go for a pitcher.
If you’re looking for a stouter type of night-cap, go for the classic Sazerac. This one comes with Bulleit Rye, Herbsaint’s Anise Liqueur, Simple Syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, and a Dash of Lemon.
If bacon is your thing – and come on, how can it not be – you better hurry in to try the Bacon Bloody Mary before it’s off the books. With Baci-Infused Vodka, Zing-Zang Blood Mary Mix and a bit of Baci Bacon, you’ll be in hair-of-the-dog heaven.
Get out to Ciao Baci and give a drink (or three) a try. It’s hard not to welcome in summer on the patio, drink in hand, worries curbed at the door.