It was a chilly August night — yeah, that is weird, right? — and we were taking in Holdren’s on State. We like that this classic steakhouse sits right next to the raging party central that is the Sandbar, and both were packed to overflow. Two different clienteles, two different menus, same result. Holdren’s has a pleasant, long, old timey bar and a hard workin’ bartender called Brad Mueller who’s been here many a year. Every time we meet, it’s a bit of the old “Aren’t you the … ?” and “Don’t I know you?” dance.
Here’s the thing: Holdren’s has drinks of the month, and we don’t check them out enough.
There are three on special this month. One is a Skinny Margarita, which we gave a pass on, but you might like. The other two are mojitos, both with similar recipes: a pineapple and a watermelon. We opted for watermelon because somewhere out there it’s summer. Making a cocktail with real watermelon is disappointing if you’ve ever tried it, and it’s one of the few flavors that does better as something like Bacardi Grand Melón, a flavored drink. To this, Mr. Mueller — who designs some but not all of the cocktails here — adds cranberry for color, mint, lime juice, simple syrup and soda. Interestingly, he doesn’t top the drink with soda, but adds it to the shaker. Doesn’t it explode? Apparently not. (Still, be careful when you try this at home.) The final version finds a lovely cross of watermelony sweetness and the hint of mint, sure to delight. Oh, and if you still want one come September, Mr. Mueller will gladly oblige.
1 1/2 ounces Bacardi Grand Melón
8 sprigs mint
3 ounces soda water
1/4 ounce simple syrup
1/3 squeezed lime
Add all ingredients to shaker with ice, shake and pour into hurricane glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Yield: 1 drink
Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood
512 State St. 965-3363 or www.holdrens.com