From Bourbon Milk­shake to But­terf ly Effect, five ad­ven­tur­ous cock­tails to sa­vor this spring

The Buffalo News - - WEATHER -

the var­i­ous fla­vors of each layer.

Smoky Mar­garita from Cantina Loco, 191 Allen St. ($8)

Cantina Loco does cock­tails right, bring­ing a mix of crazy and clas­sic mar­gar­i­tas to Al­len­town. “The owner, Mike An­drze­jew­ski, col­lects in­spi­ra­tion for his cock­tails as he trav­els through Mex­ico,” said bar­tender Alex Con­cialdi. “His cre­ativ­ity com­bined with ideas from the in­no­va­tive staff has led to countless fruity, spicy, smoky and sea­sonal mar­gar­i­tas for guests to en­joy.”

Cantina uses the tangy, slightly sour homemade mar­garita mix as a base that’s fla­vor­ful with­out hav­ing that in­tense “fake” overly sweet fla­vor from store-bought mixes. The smok­i­ness comes from the mez­cal and the pun­gent, black Hi­malayan salt around the rim. The smoky fla­vor pairs well with the restau­rant’s tacos, es­pe­cially the California fish taco with flaky fish fried un­til crisp, smoth­ered in a creamy spicy sauce, and topped with pick­led onion and cab­bage slaw for crunch.

The Uni Bomb, from Kuni’s, 226 Lex­ing­ton Ave. ($10)

This off-the-menu shot is Kuni’s best-kept se­cret. It has the feel of an oys­ter shooter with sim­i­lar salty, briny fla­vors, but Kuni’s has cre­ated its own rich, creamy ver­sion by com­bin­ing a small quail egg yolk, a piece of uni, sake (my pre­ferred choice) or shochu (a Ja­panese vodka), a dash of spicy Sriracha, salty tangy soy sauce, and tart le­mon zest.

Chef Kuni Sato has vi­sions of fla­vors that will pair well, of­ten nail­ing his risky tri­als. You knock it back all at once, let­ting the fla­vors of the silky yolk and ocean brine uni with citrus notes play off each other. You can pair the shot with an or­der of charred, crispy oc­to­pus skew­ers, a piece of sal­mon roe sushi (I sug­gest adding a quail egg yolk) or any of their many clas­sic sushi rolls.

Sharon Can­til­lon/Buf­falo News

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