Monday, March 11, 2013

Where to drink: Bar Agricole

When people ask where I like to drink, I'm lately finding myself the saying two words over and over: Bar Agricole. This place is a cocktail lover's paradise––a beautiful and modern interior along with a cool outdoor space in which to sip libations, offset from the hustle of SoMA. As you walk up the wooden entrance ramp, you enter one of those rare bars where time is irrelevant. I guess that's why I like going there so much. It feels like the world stops when you're in Agricole, like you've somehow stepped into a Neverland where the cocktails are timeless and the service, miraculously, is still impeccable. Before I get too emotional, look at the space:

Bar Agricole

Bar Agricole

Outside patio at Bar Agricole

Now on to the drinks. Even if you've never had a real cocktail before, Bar Agricole's drinks will definitely blow you away. The more craft cocktails you've tasted, though, the more you realize how much effort goes into these seemingly simple drinks. Take, for example, the Ti Punch.

Ti Punch––Rhume Agricole, sugar, lime garnish
Ti Punch at Bar Agricole

Ti Punch at Bar Agricole

Another deceptively simple drink. Only a few ingredients, but this drink will keep you coming back for more. If you haven't had it before, Rhum Agricole makes you stop and think, "what did I just drink?" In a good way. The Ti Punch does an excellent job of highlighting the Rhum, not masking or obscuring it. Once you get a taste for the funk of Agricole, you'll have to go back for seconds. That's the perfect time to try a Daiquiri with Rhum Agricole.

Agricole Daiquiri––this drink is off menu, but they can easily make it (and they often do). It's a good way to enjoy the citrusy side Rhum Agricole. Again, the Rhum isn't overshadowed by the lime, only accented. It's one of my go-to drinks.

Agricole Daiquiri

I always cap off an evening at Agricole with an Old Fashioned:

Old Fashioned with two bitters at Bar Agricole

Looks like a run-of-the-mill Old Fashioned, but God is in the details. The ice is crystal clear (the Ti Punch picture below conveys the ice clarity much better). The bourbon is thoughtfully chosen––high proof to withstand the slow melting ice––and keeps the drink stiff throughout. The bitters are all made in house, and unlike most house-made bitters, these are mind blowing. I sometimes just get bitters and soda at Agricole, just so that I can enjoy them on their own. (I feel a post about the bitters coming on...) The sweetener adds enough viscosity to help hold up the bitters, but not so much as to make the drink syrupy. I might go so far as to say that this is the best Old Fashioned in the city right now.

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