Power Plant Live newcomer Kettle Hill, a "Theodore Roosevelt-themed" establishment replete with lively, wood-and-iron-and-brass layouts, is a solid rustic-yet-fun place to hang out after work.
It's a spot for working professionals with a bit of grown-up taste. Like the atmosphere, the cocktail menu, as bartender Daniel Clemmer puts it aptly, "is sophisticated, but approachable without being pretentious."
One of the freshest examples is the Church and State, a Herradura Tequila-based cocktail with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, fresh pineapple juice, cinnamon simple syrup and honkin' 2-by-2 inch ice cubes.
It sounds strange, but without those giant ice cubes the drink might look like a beach-side margarita or daiquiri. The aesthetics of the ice actually somehow enhance this drink's appeal, when coupled with the garnishes.
"The Church and State is illustrative of our entire drink program — fresh ingredients, unique flavors," Clemmer said. He's on the money in the fresh department; the pineapple juice is prepared in house, as is the cinnamon simple syrup, garnishes and lemon juice.
I don't know if Roosevelt enjoyed the occasional margarita-styled cocktail, but the sweetness brought on by the pineapple melds very well with the boldness of tequila, while the subtle punch of cinnamon flavor on the back end is just enough to provide a small surprise at the finish of every sip.
Kettle Hill partner and beverage director Kristopher Carr, who developed the cocktail menu, provided this bit of Rooseveltian wisdom: "Drinks are only as bad as their worst ingredient."
If you find yourself in Kettle Hill's spacious outdoor seating, the Church and State is a best bet for enjoying a well-earned after work cocktail during the summer. The happy hour specials rotate, so keep your eyes peeled for this to appear on the list.
Otherwise, just enjoy the breeze.
How to make the Church and State
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz. fresh (from the pineapple) pineapple juice
3/4 oz. cinnamon simple syrup
1 1/2 oz. Herradura Tequila
Pineapple slice to garnish
Combine all ingredients, shake over ice, pineapple slice to garnish.
Where to get the Church and State
32 Market Place, downtown