There are so many reasons to love 50 Best Restaurants pick Hungry Mother, from chef Barry Maiden’s elegant yet soulful cooking — OMG those grits! — to the totally approachable décor and vibe. But one of the best reasons to go, again and again and again, is to be surprised by the genius cocktails coming out of the tiny bar. For the full experience, put yourself at the mercy of your barkeep and order the No. 99 cocktail, a.k.a. Bartender’s Choice. They’ll ask you what spirits you like, what you’re in the mood for, and any ingredients you hate, then disappear and return with something wonderful. At one recent dinner, I asked the server for something gin-based, citrusy, and maybe a little herbaceous. What I ended up with was this — my new favorite thing to order, from anyone who knows how to make it.
2 ounces Plymouth gin.
3/4 ounce Torani Amer (you can substitute Amer Picon or “Amer Boudreau”).
1/2 ounce Maraschino liqueur
1/4 ounce Cointreau
1 dash orange bitters.
Combine in a mixing glass with cracked ice. Stir for no less than thirty seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass, then flame an orange peel over the drink and garnish with the peel. Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
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