The colors of spring by Beau du Bois.
They say you can’t please everyone all the time but a good mixologist’s cocktail menu will always make sure to offer a variety from the approachable to the boozy. And at Corner Door in Culver City barman Beau du Bois has done it again with his new spring cocktail menu. “I tried to inject a lot of seasonality into it by using ingredients like kumquats, strawberries and kiwis, while still keeping the drinks approachable for our regular clientele and then having a few selections that are just in that next phase of cocktail enthusiasts…so hopefully when you read the menu you’ll see a little bit of everything for everyone.”
I had the chance to check out the new drinks this week at a hosted tasting and found some new favorites (see: “High-Wire” section below). Here’s Beau’s menu broken up into the three levels of drinking for easy reference.
Lickable Wallpaper: Bourbon, strawberry-infused sweet vermouth, lemon. Candied strawberry, vanilla notes on the nose but not as sweet as you’d think it would be. Beau says this has already been a big seller. “It’s an approachable, refreshing bourbon cocktail.” And it’s so NOT a strawberry daiquiri. The strawberry-infused sweet vermouth gives it just a hint of strawberry without adding a fruit sweetness.
Quint’s Last Fishing Trip: Demerara rum, quince, ginger, lime, honey. Limey, tart. Beau tags this as the approachable cocktail for those who want something light. “It’s a blend of a daiquiri with a Dark & Stormy.” Faint quince. Refreshing. Tropical.
Security Blanket: Reposado tequila, chamomile-infused Cocchi Americano, kumquat, lemon, honey. Light, refreshing, really approachable. This was the No. 1 hit with the Corner Door owners because they’re obsessed with kumquats. “Wanted to do a kumquat cocktail that went a little outside the lines but was still approachable,” said Beau.
For those who are now into cocktails and into trying new things but nothing too specialized.
Bag O’ Catnip: Vodka, Suze, kiwi, lemon juice, sugar. Starts off vegetable-y and then finishes very bitter. However, it’s not the vodka cocktail for the usual vodka cocktail drinker in that it’s neither syrupy, sugary or approachable. “It has some depth and complexity.”
Tripping the Lights: Gin, Aperol, Saler’s, lemon, sugar. Like bitter grapefruit. Finishes bitter. “Wanted to do a nice bitter gin cocktail that was shaken and approachable and would warm people up to the Negroni and things like that. Here’s an incentive to try something you normally wouldn’t try. It’s very wallet-friendly but it is dynamic.”
Little Torch: Pisco, habanero-infused pineapple gomme, cayenne, citrus, yuzu bitters, egg white. Ouch! Makes my eyes water. SO SPICY! Makes you salivate. Beau calls this approachable but its spiciness was way too much for me. (Note: I’m a spice wimp.) He said he created it because people wanted something with a lot of heat. And unlike his previous uber spicy cocktail, The Miner Incident, you can still taste the other flavors of the drink even though the heat keeps coming. However, you really have to time your sips with this one, bracing yourself for the next one. Yowza!
“A little more for those hardened palates,” said Beau.
Private Island: Demerara rum, Jamaican rum, dry vermouth, lime cordial, Peychauds bitters. I love this drink! Potent, funky, spicy finish. A fun sipper after dinner or for just ruminating at the bar.
Rapier and Dagger: Blended scotch, cognac, Benedictine, amaro, creme de peche. Smoked peach. Smokiness on the nose. Peach midpalate. A user-friendly high-horsepower cocktail.
Pencil Mustache: Fernet, tamarind, lime, egg white. If you love Fernet you’ll love this. Fernet-y up front, finishes refreshingly minty.
Last Night in Town: Mezcal, Aperol, maraschino, mole bitters. Another one that I loved. Smokey, bitter, finishes sweet.
12477 W Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California 90066 (map)
Facebook: The Corner Door