Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Where to Drink: East Bay Spice Company


East Bay Spice Company

Noelle and I found ourselves in Berkeley with an hour to kill before a reservation at Gather. We weren't hopeful that there'd be a decent cocktail spot, but we decided to have a look around anyway. Lo and behold, East Bay Spice Company recently opened up a mere block from Gather and literally across the street from the Cal campus.


East Bay Spice Company

East Bay Spice Company has an impressive concept: Cocktails + Indian food. Here are those menus: 

East Bay Spice Company

East Bay Spice Company

East Bay Spice Company

The cocktails are designed to match with Indian flavors and named after aspects of the Indian spice trade. There's a good mix of Indian street food, curries, and, of course, naan. There are three glorious words I especially want to share regarding the food menu: Late night naan. Pairing cocktails and Indian food is genius––part of the reason Dosa is San Francisco cocktail legend. 

We managed to squeeze in a few cocktails before dinner at Gather. 

Samsara: Smith and Cross, El Darado, and Mathusalem Rum, Cocchi Rosa, velvet falernum, Pernod, lemon. Like many of the drinks at East Bay Spice Company, this one has a tropical feel. The rums are accented nicely by the Cocchi and the Pernod. 

East Bay Spice Company

Ornament of the World: Rum, Cynar, sugar, lime, Mumbai bitters. The Mumbai bitters and the Cynar are the stars of this drink. They highlight the rum, while adding depth and spice. It would pair very nicely with a curry.

East Bay Spice Company

The Company of Merchants: Bols Genever, St. George Agua Libre, spiced grapefruit cordial, lemon, celery bitters, soda. The Bols and Agua Libre make perfect sense together, and the spiced grapefruit adds depth and brings out the citrus notes in the spirit. 

East Bay Spice Company

The Royal Charter: Bourbon, Cocchi Americano, Becherovka, coconut chai syrup, lemon, bergamot mitters, mint. The coconut chai syrup and bergamot bitters make for a rich, spicy mixture. The Becherovka adds a viscosity to the drink, and it also adds another layer of flavor to the drink. 

East Bay Spice Company

East Bay Spice Company

East Bay Spice Company has a nice feel, at least during the summer months. I'm not sure what it'll look like when the kids come back, but I doubt the party-oriented college students are going to shell out 10 bucks a cocktail. There's an upstairs space if you want to sit and relax with relative privacy:

East Bay Spice Company

East Bay Spice Company

2134 Oxford St
Berkeley, CA

Monday-Saturday 5pm-2am.
Happy hour: 5pm-7pm. Two bucks off Trumer and BridgePort IPA. Free appetizer or naan with cocktail.


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