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Raise your glass: Abbreviations, Willow

Shots often take the night from 0 to 60, leading to mixed results. But the team at the newly opened Fells Point lounge, Willow, want to change the shot's reputation with their menu of creative, craft shots, smartly called Abbreviations.

Think "cocktails in miniature." Lead bartender Julia Momose explains that all 11 Abbreviations are designed around infused spirits that she makes fresh and in-house. All of the infusions featured can be turned into full-size cocktails, an idea owner Ryan Perlberg hopes will "invigorate customers and bring something different to Fells Point. We're a classy shot bar." Momose adds that there's an Abbreviation for every palate. Here are three tempting suggestions to sip or shoot. They are small in size but big in taste.

The Rebound ($7)

Let me start with my favorite. What caught my eye? It's a gin shot. Yes. And talk about bad-ass. There are only two ingredients: green-tea infused organic Bluecoat gin and mint syrup. But don't be too intimidated; it also happened to be extremely fresh — brushing-your-teeth fresh — and herbal with a slightly spicy finish. it's an approachable shot for just about anyone.

Rhubarb Pie ($7)

Truly, a dessert shot — without the calories. Rhubarb-infused vodka — the very smooth Prairie Organic — and house-made vanilla syrup combine for a light honeyed taste. I was expecting this to be tangy, but it's sweet, light and good enough to savor over several sips.

Cliffrise ($7)

A spicy little meal, the Cliffrise is a layered blend of house grenadine, lime juice and jalapeno-infused El Jimador tequila, an Agave Reposado with a smoky flavor. Of the three I tried, this was the most "shot-like" in quality — a full kick of ingredients that run the gamut from hot to soothing.

The Abbreviations menu is an adventure. You'd usually do shots to get the night rolling — or cap off a sloppy bar crawl. Here, though, the shots are your night. And you'll remember it.

Where to Get Abbreviations

Willow

811 S. Broadway, Fells Point

443-835-4086

willowbaltimore.com

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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