Old King Road’s Skeleton in the Closet

Nik Blaskovich / News-Press
Nik Blaskovich / News-Press

After 11 years, Old King’s Road still doesn’t allow wankers through its doors, so I guess that’s a good sign for us. We just waltzed right in to stay. One of our Drink-of-the-Week-ers brought his parents along, and they promptly disappeared into the post-trivia, post-World Series crowd for a bit while we settled down to chat with Don Zaccagnino, who we immediately charmed by pronouncing his last name correctly.

Zaccagnino is one of three owners of OKR, along with Ross Cathie, the true Brit among the three, and Chris Faitel, the newest, youngest owner. We got into a little conversation about real fish and chips before Zaccagnino decided on his selections for us to try.

He allowed us to choose a shot before his own suggestions, and our tagalong father popped (no pun intended) out of nowhere to ask for Kamikazes. A classic shot of vodka, lime and Cointreau, the drink, we suspect, was made with Rose’s lime concentrate. It’s a good one, though, and it gave us a starting point for further shot explorations. Shots were on Zaccagnino’s mind, so that’s what we had. Also, the names were a hoot.

The 50/50 Bar mixes vodka, Cuarenta Y Tres (aka Licor 43), orange juice and half-and-half. Last week we tried a drink that was like an orange creamsicle, but this was more like a tangy Orange Julius. And though it was a shot, we took our time with it.

Zaccagnino then whipped up an Acai Suicide, which you also won’t find on the Old King’s Road menu. The menu, by the way, is all beer. And that’s a good thing, because OKR features quite a lot of different draft beers: all delicious, all not cocktails and all threatening to derail us from the task at hand.

The Acai Suicide, from the name, mixes Acai Absolut, sweet-and-sour, triple sec and some 7Up into a clear, carbonated shot that fizzed with the berry flavor of the acai. We should say, though, that we can’t really tell the difference between acai berry and any other berry vodka, but that’s Absolut’s fault.

We finished off with a Skeleton in the Closet, Zaccagnino’s chance to break out a bottle of very smooth, very aromatic Espolón Tequila Blanco, mixed with Citronge, Peychaud’s Bitters, lemon, lime, orange juice and salt. This was part margarita, part Bloody Mary, part we-don’t-know-what, but it sure was tasty. And the Espolón is high in the mix, so we liked that. So put aside your beer for a while and check out some shots the next time you wander down the Road.

In the meantime, we better go see where the parents went…

1 ½ ounces Espolón Tequila
1 ounce Patron Citronge
2 lime wedges
1 lemon wedge
Dash of Peychaud’s
Dash of salt
1 ounce orange juice

Shake over ice and strain into shot glass.

532 ½ State St.
(805) 884-4085

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