Previously, on “Mixologists a GoGo”: Our intrepid explorers found themselves out at the Holdren’s Steak House outpost at the Camino Real Marketplace, aka Big Box Mall. Having finished their liqueur-filled ramblings, they set off to find a bathroom, took a left, took a right, walked past the kitchen, and … what the hey? There’s another restaurant and bar back here!
Indeed, Holdren’s shares a kitchen (and owners) with Pastavino, an Italian restaurant with dark maroon walls and a small, horseshoe-shaped bar, presided over by Reuben Soto, who manages both restaurants.
Soto, we realized, had been popping his head in occasionally at Holdren’s to see what we were doing. And now it was his turn to make us some drinks.
Of course, the vino is important at Pastavino, but what if you don’t run with the grapes? Here’s some suggestions.
Reuben first made us a Basil Strawberry Lemonade, one of the bar’s most popular cocktails. It combines fresh strawberries and basil, all muddled together and mixed with Ketel One, Pallini Limoncello and lemonade. We expected tart and overwhelming basil, but we got neither. Instead, the strawberry is the most flavor-forward of the batch, and the cocktail is designed to go down easy. Maybe too easy. For us, we wanted something with more of a kick, and we got it soon thereafter.
The Peach Mojito is full-frontal peachiness and keen with its Bacardi Red Peach base. That, combined with peach purée, made this a winner. The usual mojito rules apply: mint, sugar, rum. Muddle, muddle, muddle. Yet, the peach flavor kept us coming back despite overwhelming the mint.
Soto spent about 18 years at the Tee-Off before he moved to Pastavino when it opened five months ago, so he comes loaded with bar knowledge.
Asked for another popular drink, Soto finished us off with the very simple, very quaffable Pastavino Sweet Tea. Take Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea vodka and mix with fresh lemon juice, ice it and, well, there you have it. Tastes like iced tea, feels like sneaking one past the parents.
But for taste and desirability, we will backtrack and go for the Peach Mojito as our Drink of the Week. Who says peaches and pasta don’t mix?
2 ounces Bacardi Red Peach
1 ounce Peach puree
3 sprigs of mint
1/2 wedge of lime
Teaspoon of sugar
Float of soda
Muddle lime and mint and sugar. Add ice. Add other ingredients, stir and pour into tall glass. Garnish with mint.
6920 Market Place Drive