What: Brabo’s Sherbet with green tea–infused Beefeater gin, salted pistachio orgeat,
Absente absinthe, and cucumber-lime sherbet
Where: Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier, 1600 King St., Alexandria
What You Should Be Drinking
A hump of green sherbet rises, Loch Ness Monster–style, from this pearl-colored cocktail. Head bartender Phil Clark explains that his sherbet cocktail is a riff on a drink served at The Dead Rabbit in New York. “When I was there, they used what they called sherbet, but it wasn’t frozen—it was heated citrus, oils, and sugar,” he explains. “I thought, ‘We have an awesome pastry chef. Why don’t we use frozen sherbet?’” Pastry chef Larry Queen created a refreshing cucumber-lime flavor that lends acidity to the cocktail as it melts. Clark explains there are three ways to enjoy the punch-style drink: Drink it fast and it’ll be sweet; drink it slow and it’ll change over time; and if you want to balance it out right away, stir in the sherbet to create a thick, slushy drink. Servers will provide a spoon to aid you, but don’t ask for a straw. “Ahh, nope,” says Clark.
Why You Should Be Drinking It
Sip the cocktail straightaway and it tastes like liquid baklava thanks to the salted pistachio orgeat and grated nutmeg. It’s fun to take a swig then dig into the sherbet with a spoon as a palate cleanser between each sip. But the idea of an iced dessert in a cocktail is keeping many people away from the drink. “There’s a whole segment of people who won’t order a drink with ice cream, but they should,” Clark says. “It’s a good setup for a fine dining establishment, because it’s about the experience of the food itself, and the drinks should be the same way.” The drink also exemplifies the trend of mixologists pulling more inspiration from the kitchen. Clark says he enjoys accessing the “back of the house,” so he can play with more than just citrus, sugar, and spirits.