In a city flush with brews, booze, and craft cocktails, it's not hard to find a different drink to suit your every mood. Lately, the summer heat has left me daydreaming of cool rooms and chilled cocktails. So, after a long workday, I traded my usual dive bar beer for something a bit more self-indulgent at Colt & Gray .
The bar's quirky cocktail reputation—the menu is constantly changing—held up: their current menu features Arrested Development -themed drinks with names like the Nevernude, Teamocil, and Bob Loblaw's Law Blog. If the humor behind the names is lost on you, don't worry; you don't have to be a fan of the show to appreciate these hand-crafted, summertime concoctions.
Per my server's recommendation, I ordered the Steve Holt. Named after a popular, goofy high school football player from the show, the cocktail is a crisp, scotch whiskey-based drink that is a playful take on lemonade. As a base, it uses Great King St. Whisky, made by Compass Box Whisky Co ., a company founded by ex-Johnny Walker cellar and blending director John Glaser. Thanks to Glaser, the once-spicy and masculine liquor is now more balanced and delicate. It shines in the Steve Holt.
The other ingredients—fresh lemon juice, Rotham & Winter Orchard Pear Liqueur, lavender syrup, and a final dash of spice-infused bitters—complement the whiskey superbly. The cocktail is served on "a rock," says Kevin Burke , Colt & Gray's head barman, rather than on the rocks, "to keep the temperature without watering the drink down." I sipped my Steve Holt slowly and found this to be true.
Bonus: If you don't feel like leaving your air-conditioned confines, make the Steve Holt at home with the recipe above. Note: You can sub Leopold Bros' American Small Batch whiskey for the harder-to-find Great King St.
How to make lavender syrup: Steep one tablespoon of dried lavender flowers in eight ounces of boiling water for 30 minutes. After cooling, drop in one cube of granulated sugar, and strain into 12-ounce bottle. Refrigerate. The syrup keeps up to one month.
Follow digital assistant editor Jerilyn Forsythe on Twitter at @jlforsyt .