Just in time for spring, Hop Sing Laundromat unveiled eight new cocktails last week, in addition to rolling out a staggering selection of additions to the famously high-end well. Here are my highlights and recommendations:
The Cuban Missile Crisis is a classic Hop Sing concoction: Deceptively simple, daringly iconoclastic and smart. At first glance, it may seem a bit unusual: Jameson Gold Reserve Irish whiskey and El Dorado 21 Year Old rum. Why, two recent drinking companions wondered aloud before tasting it, combine whiskey and rum like this? The first sip, however, made the logic behind it deliciously clear, the interaction between the two excellent spirits an in situ study of the influence of oak aging. It is a seriously exciting drink.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Philly Colada, a dangerously easy-to-drink warm-weather classic, here composed of the remarkable Don Q Gran Anejo rum, El Dorado 151-proof rum, coconut liqueur, cream, mint and vivid seams of fresh lime and pineapple juice. I found myself fantasizing of a poolside two sips into it.
Other standouts include the Broad Street Boxer, perfect as a final drink of the evening with its Jameson Gold Reserve, Meletti chocolate liqueur, cream, coffee and a throat-tickling hit of Thai chili; the refreshing, bracing Cold Water Army, like a Vesper minus the gin and with a base of beautiful Cold River potato vodka; and the Cry To Me, a daring gathering of Laird’s Applejack Bonded, Laird’s 7 and a half year apple brandy, Barenjager honey liqueur, green Chartreuse and Angostura bitters. It’s a multi-layered revelation that offers an intriguingly different flavor profile with each sip, and is easily one of the most complex cocktails in town right now.
As far as specific spirits, the excellent Double Cross vodka, from the Slovak Republic and distilled seven times, is smooth enough to sip even room-temp. Also of note are Dulce Vida organic 100-proof reposado tequila, Smooth Ambler Old Scout bourbon, Laphroaig Quarter Cask, and much more.
In other words, there’s a lot of exploring to do this spring at Hop Sing Laundromat. Best to get to work as soon as possible.
Liquid entertainment, Dec. 11-18
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Philly expats offer a DIY gin kit