It’s fair to say the secret’s out on The Nash, the new Michael Noble restaurant that opened in Inglewood late last month. Every time I’ve driven by it’s been packed, and last week when I met girlfriends there it was abustle — all tables taken, and standing room only in the 50-seat Off Cut Bar. The new foodie hub is bringing late-night traffic to Calgary’s east end and it’s great news for my ‘hood.
What’s even more exciting for me — and for Calgarians who like a classy watering hole — are the fantastic cocktails being shaken and stirred at Off Cut. I’ve been slowly working my way through the list and have enjoyed every cocktail I’ve tried thus far. I love the strength of the bourbon-based Quarter Horse, the tart-yet-light grape (pisco) essence of the Sundance Saloon, and the bitter wholesomeness of the new Cynar Flip. My friends and I also love the New Orleans Ginn Fizz (one pal even asked if I could pretty please get the recipe and then make her one every Friday at 4:30 p.m.); however, it’s reviled by the bartenders, who need a full two minutes to shake it, so sadly, it’s coming off the menu.
But if I have to pick one drink that’s my favourite, it’s the Buckskin Sour, a smooth, herbal gin-and-Lillet delight that’s not unlike a Corpse Reviver No. 2 in sour form, but with cardamom syrup instead of Cointreau. The drink is named for the buckskin-coloured horses that used to be frequent visitors to Calgary’s East End Livery, located next door to The Nash. The horse-cocktail connection makes me think of that old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” with a notable twist: You can lead Calgarians to these cocktails, but making them drink shouldn’t be a problem!
- 1.5 oz Ungava gin
- .5 oz Lillet
- .75 lemon juice
- .75 house-made salted cardamom cordial
- Egg white
- Garnish: 3 dashes Bittered Sling Grapefruit & Hops bitters
Method: Shake all ingredients except bitters with ice and serve straight up in a coupe. Garnish with three dashes of bitters, then draw hearts by swiping a toothpick through them.
— Recipe courtesy Christie MacKay, general manager, The Nash