I know this is the first time I've ever - in my entire life - written a post exclusively about a drink. But ever since we've been experiencing 70+ degree days, I can't help but reminisce about afternoons spent during my college years in Nashville enjoying a delightfully refreshing cocktail after class on the outdoor patios of Hillsboro Village.
I know, this is a blog about Baltimore, but I swear to you its relevant. You see, southerners really know their liquor drinks. Not to say the south has nothing to satiate our appetite for hops, its just that when you have a specialty - its hard not to acknowledge it. Since I've been home in Baltimore, I've never met a liquor drink that takes me back to those days in Nashvegas - until recently. And keep in mind that while I've always maintained that I'm not a gin drinker (despite its ability to elevate you to instant Rat Pack Status), I believe a good bartender makes all the difference. And we have some serious contenders in our fair metropolitan area but none like the sleeper at the Red House Tavern.
Chances are, you've only been to the Red House if you live in the immediate area of Caton. It's located at the intersection of Essex and Foster - and inside its doors lies not only a nicely appointed little corner hangout - but also one of the most creative bartenders in all of the Salty Balty. His name is Alex. A very unassuming guy, he introduced me to my new favorite cocktail of his own creation - a drink he is still trying to "officially name" but those who know me now know it as "an Alex." With that first sip, this cocktail transported me back to those post-class patios and simpler times back in college. Who knows what images it will conjure for you.
Gin, ginger ale, a bit of lime - and here's the kicker - home-made green tea simple syrup.
If I told you how inexpensive this refresher was, you wouldn't believe me so instead, head in to the Red House Tavern and look for tall guy in glasses behind the bar. That's Alex. I'm sure you can take it from there.