Just the other evening my husband and I decided to have a night out; last weekend was very busy and I was in need of some us time. We decided to head to Santa Rosa to Jackson’s. Mixology is a growing culinary trend, treating the bartender as a profession. The new job title is mixologist, a person that specializes in creating cocktails. We are not talking just your classic martini or gin and tonic (although they will do those perfectly), but unique and creative endeavors. If you appreciate the art, then Jackson's is a must.
For my first selection I went with a "Ginger Not Marianne" (ha ha Gilligan) an incredible mix of lemon and ginger (Canton ginger liqueur) with just a light touch of spritze, garnished with a slice of candied ginger. The only problem with them is that you could sit and drink them all night. Jim started with a "Belushi's Breakfast", an absolutely bizarre and incredible combination. Bourbon (Bitterman's), espresso and dark beer (Death & Taxes) finished with a peanut brittle rim! When he first saw this he thought that sounds very 'questionable', but on further reflection he decided if a place like Jackson's puts something that sounds that bad on the menu, then it must be great. And it was. The beer foamed to just the perfect amount and added a foam head to the glass on which floated 3 espresso beans. You can imagine how John Belushi would have stayed awake.
Deciding to have dinner nearby (To Dai for Sushi, quite nice), we went for a second round of drinks. This time I went for a... (darn, can't remember the name, but it was something like Gin Limey), a wonderful gin and lime combination. Jim's other selection was a "Cotton Tail"; imagine a perfect white gazpacho in a glass. It went perfectly with our Truffle Fries (bar nibbles are a must). Made with fresh carrot juice and Cynar (an Italian artichoke liqueur) and someother things. Being a chef I asked to taste the Cynar, it was truly awful! So hat's off to the mixologist becasue it fit the combination wonderfully. I cannot believe that anyone would think to use it, but it highlights the drink incredibly well.