For the layout of his new cocktail menu at Firefly, bar manager Jon Harris was inspired by elements including old-style grand hotel menus, classic cocktail tomes like "Barflies & Cocktails" and, to put it simply, the way we eat and drink at a restaurant (appetizers with an aperitif, wine with dinner, and spirits and digestifs with or as dessert.) The result is an eclectic list divided into categories that speak to the libations' purpose: Settlers, Coolers, Bracers, Whetters and Stiffeners, along with quippy descriptions for the sips. "The goal is to get people to try things," he says. "Presenting something in an interesting way pulls people out of their comfort zones a bit."
A Word from the Serpent King on the Whetter section of the menu combines Ruby Port, Bourbon, St. Germain, honey, chamomile and hibiscus flower—a fun drink, says Harris, designed to taste like a fresh red apple. Settler cocktail Chartreuse-Fernet stirs Chartreuse and Fernet Branca with Martini Rosso Vermouth and Angostura Bitters. "Bartender porn," he calls it, submitting that those who work behind the stick consume large quantities of the first two ingredients. He adds Vermouth to bridge the gap between the two, and Angostura to temper the sweetness. "The best part of the new menu is watching people just leaf through it because it's different, which exposes them to a lot of our offerings, any of which could pique their interest." Here's the menu.
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