Author Archives: Jonathan Laurel

Cocktail Flight: Cuban Classics

By Jonathan Laurel November 6, 2019 Cocktails

From American engineer Jennings Cox’s creation of the Daiquiri in the 1890s to rum runners during Prohibition, to the swanky escapism of the 1940s and 50s, Cuba’s standing in international culture was largely predicated on cocktails.  The queen city of the Caribbean, Havana was home to a cadre of culturally invaluable cocktail bars and inventive bartenders, with its native creations exported abroad through a thriving tourism industry.  Just three of our favorites make… Read More

Spicy Thai Garden Shrub

By Jonathan Laurel October 18, 2019 Cocktails

Smoked veggies, chili, cilantro, umami mezcal, tomato & herb shrub, cynar, lemon, soda water, bogart bitters A centuries-old method for preserving fruits or vegetables, shrubs are a crisp blend of sweet and sour.  We cold-infuse our shrub—made from garden tomatoes, bird’s eye chilis, sugar, and vinegar—and bottle-age it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  The time spent in a bottle allows sugar to extract complex flavors from the ingredients. … Read More

Barrel Aged El Presidente (and some history)

By Jonathan Laurel October 10, 2019 Cocktails

Lemon cookie, butterscotch, tropical fruit Nicaraguan silver rum, rhum agricole, chambéry blanc, cointreau, grenadine, orange bitters One of the lesser-known Havana classics, this Cuban creation is a perfect pairing of rum and vermouth.  Besides being a staff favorite at West Main, El Presidente is an icon of the Golden Age of Cuban bars, as well as the modern cocktail revolution. As is typical of such a thing, the earliest origins of El Presidente… Read More

Panda Panda Panda

By Jonathan Laurel October 8, 2019 Cocktails

fragrant, grassy, coconut, vanilla Pandan leaf-infused bourbon, coconut, ginger liqueur, lemongrass, monk bitters Pandan is an herbaceous tropical plant with vibrant, sweet-tasting leaves.  Used to flavor coconut milk and water, panda leaf is an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine.  We use it to flavor our bourbon in this Panda Panda Panda cocktail, then marry it with a combination of coconut, ginger, and lemon.  A delicious and rich cocktail, Panda Panda Panda is inspired by… Read More

Kaeng Phet

By Jonathan Laurel September 25, 2019 Cocktails

spicy, citrusy, herbaceous, bittersweet curry spiced-infused blanco tequila, aperol, lime, thai basil, coconut, bogart bitters Meaning “spicy” or “hot” curry, Kaeng Phet is an ode to those feverish dishes which haunt our taste buds’ dreams. This cocktail perfectly bridges the gap between food and beverage that makes this menu exciting, instigating a cognitively dissonant experience with its spot on curry flavor. Fiery-hot Thai chili peppers are the beating heart of the curry-infusion, along with… Read More