Drink of the Week: Alcazar’s The Bitter Pill


Alvarado Rojas is a busy guy. First there was Chilangos. Though that State Street Mexican joint closed years ago, Mr. Rojas went off and started Milk & Honey, Alcazar on the Mesa and one of our favorite new bars of 2013, the Bourbon Room. On top of that, he’s helped set up Spare Parts Bistro, the pop-up gourmet restaurant.

We caught him on a weekend night at Alcazar and chatted away. Recently, he’s been thinking about egg whites. It’s one of his favorite things in cocktails for all its many properties. It makes drinks silky and smooth on the tongue, and it rounds off ingredients that might be too sharp or sweet. Because of the worry of salmonella, eggs have disappeared from most bars, but mixologists like Mr. Rojas use fresh local eggs. In his Amaretto Sour, he keeps close to the original recipe – just amaretto, his own sweet and sour mix, egg white and bitters. The frothy head won’t get there without whites and the cocktail is all almond delight.

But that’s a classic. Mr. Rojas wanted to make us something new, so he mixed Myers’s Dark Rum and the very bitter and herbal Fernet-Branca with lime and simple syrup. All very strong ingredients, but the whites turned it all into a lovely fuzzy ball, deep and molasses-sweet. Stuck for a name for this concoction, Mr. Rojas had to think for a while, settling finally on The Bitter Pill.

1 1/2 ounces dark rum (preferably Myers)
1/2 oz. Fernet-Branca
1 egg white
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup

Add all ingredients over ice, shake and strain into lowball glass containing 1 large ice cube. Garnish with lemon twist.

Alcazar Tapas Bar
1812 Cliff Drive 962-0337 or alcazartapasbar.com

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