A guy walks into a sports bar in Hampden and … wait, back up, back up. A bar catering to a bunch of jocks located in Hipsterville, Maryland?
Yes, really. This isn't the punch line to a bad Baltimore joke. This is David's 1st and 10 Sports Bar on Falls Road, the newest — it opened May 7 — spot on the North Baltimore scene. But as is typical in the land of the Hons, David's marches to the beat of its own quirky drum. Take last Tuesday when bar manager Bayne Joyes was pouring drafts and shooting the breeze with customers. "All of the sudden, I realized we've got the O's on flat screens playing the Angels, the Misfits firing on my Pandora station, and I'm mixing up a craft cocktail," he said. "What other sports bar in Maryland — in America — can you find all of that in one place?"
Good question. If you're like me, you're glad you don't need to find the answer.
Yes, David's has an exceptional beer program, but that isn't what sets them apart. It's their rebellious wine and cocktail programs that turn the Miller Lite-and-wings sports bar concept on its side. Joyes, formerly of Gitan and 13.5%, is an inventive bartender with a healthy respect for the classics. His bar program at David's, which boasts an impressive collection of brown liquors, is a mixture of classic Negronis and Sazeracs as well as playfully created drinks like the Evil Ruby. The Ruby, made of Deep Eddy Ruby Red grapefruit vodka, St. Germain's elderflower liqueur and house-made jalapeno syrup, was actually created on a dare.
Joyes, who admits he is usually not a fan of flavored anything, was challenged by a client over his bartending skills and accidentally — and expertly — created the drink he calls "perfectly simple." The subtle citrus flavor of the Deep Eddy, a small-batch organic vodka out of Austin, Texas, provides a cool, layered burst that cuts the sweetness of the St. Germain and the spice from the Jalapeno syrup quite nicely. Think of the Evil Ruby as a spicy refresher: light, uncomplicated, and strong.
And the ominous name? Another of Joyes' specialties: obscure drink names. The Evil Ruby is a nod to '80s Australian indie band the Beasts of Bourbon. This is where David's 1st and 10 proves that it is not just a sports bar; it's a great bar that happens to loves sports.
A bar where I can rage to punk rock music, Buck Showalter and a strong drink all at the same time. Where else in America, indeed.
How to Make The Evil Ruby
1 1/2 oz. Deep Eddy Ruby Red
1/2 oz. St. Germain
Dash of jalapeno simple syrup
Mix all ingredients together; serve up in a cocktail glass.
Where to Get The Evil Ruby
David's 1st and 10 Sports Bar
3626 Falls Road, Hampden
$8Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun