By Evan Siple
1:07 PM EST, February 4, 2014
Regi's American Bistro has been a popular destination for the Federal Hill area for quite some time, and it's no surprise that over the years its cocktail program has come to a state of maturity to rival most in the city, let alone Federal Hill.
With a seasonally rotating cocktail menu and one of the city's first rooftop fresh herb/fruit gardens, Regi's has been a true innovator, way ahead of its foodie-hipster rivals.
So it should be no surprise that Regi's cocktails are some of the most potent and freshest around, though in these blustery conditions, some have gone by the wayside until the rooftop produce flows again. However, one cocktail to survive the polar vortices is the pungent Rosemary's Gold.
Rosemary's Gold is not a beginner's cocktail. It's laden with Jefferson's bourbon, an exceedingly small-batch bourbon from New York, and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. And while bourbon and ginger is nothing crazy by itself, even with a high-end small-batch bourbon, Rosemary's Gold is blasted with muddled, fresh (when possible) rosemary sprig.
Garnished with lime, the only way to describe the flavor is "green." Or, as bartender Nicki Long described, "It tastes like I imagine a Christmas tree would."
Nicki may be right, but don't let that stop you. The potent flavor of bourbon-meets-rosemary demands a good sipping session. Whether on an icy-cold winter's day or otherwise, it's still refreshing. Potent, strong and assertive while still retaining a bit of sweetness, Rosemary's Gold is a sophisticated cocktail, to be sure.
Within the confines of Regi's heated outdoor seating, you can at least pretend like you're enjoying a soon-to-come spring happy hour. Once the coming season's rooftop garden begins, it will be interesting to see what concoctions come from the harvest.
If what Regi's is putting out in a deep freeze is any indication, I'll be interested to see the warmer-climate versions.
How to make Rosemary's Gold
2 oz. Jefferson's bourbon
1 oz. Domaine de Canton
Club soda to top
Muddle rosemary in glass and combine Jefferson's bourbon and Domaine de Canton over ice; top with club soda. Garnish with lime wedge.
Where to get Rosemary's Gold
Regi's American Bistro
1002 Light St., Federal Hill
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