Bertha's may be known for its iconic bumper stickers, vibrant live music scene and its namesake mussels, but one thing missing from its repertoire has been a comprehensive cocktail list. Until now.
Officially set to debut on April 1 (I seriously hope this isn't an elaborate April Fool's prank), Bertha's will have a permanent list assembled by bartender "Carl" Greggerson, "Carl" being a nickname, as "original owner Laura Norris couldn't remember my name for six months and just kept calling me Carl, so it stuck," so explains Carl. At any rate, I was more than happy to sample the new list and the bright, refreshing flavors of the Lady Rockwell, which is available now.
Named after a local burlesque dancer of the same name, Lady Rockwell consists of Hendrick's gin, lemon juice, orange bitters and cucumber simple syrup. Cucumber-based Hendrick's is always a cool choice, as the juniper berry sting featured in most gins is mellowed significantly, setting the stage for other flavor pops, in the form of lemon juice and orange bitters, to mix with one another. The result is a decidedly refreshing gin libation that comes perfectly timed with spring's arrival.
If the Lady Rockwell is any indicator for the future of Bertha's new cocktail program, can we look forward to seeing what other adult entertainment-themed cocktails start popping up? A Dita Von Teese, perhaps? Though on second thought, I wouldn't even want to run the risk of drinking a Ron Jeremy or a Peter North.
Let's just stick with the burlesque performers, please.
How to make the Lady Rockwell
2 oz. Hendrick's gin
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. cucumber simple syrup*
3 dashes orange bitters
Cucumber and lemon twist for garnish
Combine all ingredients and shake, double strain, serve up in a Martini glass.
*Cucumber simple syrup: 1:1 ratio of sugar to water; when the sugar is dissolved remove from heat. Chop up 2-3 cucumbers (depending on volume, of course, basically enough so it's just covered by syrup), steep in syrup until cool. Strain.
Where to get the Lady Rockwell
734 S. Broadway, Fells Point