A nice, cold beer is a beautiful thing when bowling your way to a sad 125 at the newly-opened bowling alley at National on 10th in Calgary. But I have to say that a tequila-spiked, Mexican beer cocktail called the Michelada does a far better job of numbing the sour taste of bowling defeat.
The drink is but one Mexican-themed cocktail featured on the bowling alley menu. There’s also a margarita, a paloma (like a grapefruit margarita, but with fizz), and two cocktails made with mezcal, another agave spirit with a smoky flavour. Bartender Stephen Phipps took some liberties with the menu and created a couple of fun sips like the fan favourite Jesus Quintana (like a pisco sour, with chili bitters) and Orale! (rum, Mexican cola, lime and mole bitters). The drinks complement the Mexican street food eats and are priced to match ($10 to $12).
We spent a fun evening throwing balls down one of eight lanes inside the eagerly-anticipated space located in the basement of the National on 10th beer hall, opened back in April. I’ve always found bowling alleys to be somewhat dreary and creepy places, so it’s refreshing to hang out in a hip one that features fare beyond hot dogs, greasy fries and mass market suds.
Sadly, I was only able to sample a handful of the drinks at the opening party, but I’ll be back to try the rest… and to work on my bowling game (I’m gunning for a 300, baby!).
- 1 oz El Jimador tequila
- 2 oz Grizzly Paw grapefruit soda
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 drop Maggi liquid seasoning (like “Worcestershire on steroids,” according to the bartender)
- 3 drops Cholula hot sauce
- Top Phillips Analogue 78 Kolsch beer
Shake all ingredients together with ice except beer. Strain into a chilled pint glass and top with Phillips Analogue 78 Kolsch.
— Recipe courtesy Colton Hogg, National on 10th