One of Those Nights – Alfie’s (Visit #2)

Alfie’s is a stellar bar with best-of-class cocktails, a wonderful crowd, and a simple warm décor. 

Ambiance: *****

Decor: ****

Service: *****

Cocktails: *****

Overall Rating: 4.75

When your best-laid plans inevitably go sideways, you have to adapt and overcome. This truism came to mind this week when I headed over to Alfie’s, a proud member of the Uber-elite hot list, for the punch competition between Alfie’s bartender Fabian Malone and Catoctin Creek’s brand ambassador Chad Robinson (Chad is a master-level battle rapper, as well). Unfortunately, I came a little late to sip the punches so, after discussing my plight with Fabian, I decided to instead tour Alfie’s newly-updated cocktail list. It was a good plan B.

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Not surprisingly, it was one of those great, lively nights at Alfie’s – the bar always has tons of friendly locals, awesome service, and an astonishingly creative and delicious cocktail list. I sampled five of Alfie’s new drinks and had a fun off-menu one – I thought four were standouts, including my new drink of the summer, “Dean’s Hawaiian Shirt” with Avua cachaca, Kronan Swedish punsch (an old-school pre-prohibition sugar cane-based spirit), Hamilton dark rum, velvet falernum, passion fruit, pineapple, lime, and aromatic bitters. An amazing fresh sipper that cascades so pleasantly from sweet fruit to a softened rum spirit. Simple and stunning, I really loved this drink, and wanted to step outside into the warm evening air and drink them all night.

 

Moving from that high to another standout with the “Whatever You Do…Don’t Go in There!” with Rujero Singani, cimarron tequila, Kronan Swedish punsch, charred pineapple, lime, thai spiced syrup, and angostura. I wrote on this one “just fucking superb,” the WYDDGIT flows surprisingly smooth, so even that the tequila only offers a subtle influence. Loved the rujero here, which provides this poppy sweetness to the relaxed citrus base. A simmering layer of spice and a herbal influence round out this great, even cocktail.

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Next up was “The Bon Vivants” with Wild Turkey, Thai tea-infused dolin rouge, aperol, angostura bitters, and an orange twist. Another killer, this taste was very disciplined – even the bitter ingredients that usually derail these drinks were measured, the drink ends with a pleasant orange kiss. It is bitter forward off of the aperol so I puckered a bit, but the rest of the taste evens out for a great sensation. We raged with the “Kronan the Barbarian!” with Kronan Swedish punsch, Batavia arrack, fernet vallet, lime, egg and Thai spiced syrup. This was a full, consistent, and intriguing taste with some nice earthy tinges off of the arrack, good lime, and softened pleasantly with the egg. While I admired the adventure of the cocktail, I didn’t quite love the taste, but worth a shot.

We went with a striver, the “Lil’ Cocktail That Could” with Denros 160 proof rum, Hamilton dark rum, lime, and angostura. A fine drink, the flavor is straight forward and not overly syrupy, and the lime builds character off of the rum heavy flavor. A touch of bitterness at the conclusion of this nice cocktail. Then we went a little off menu with the “Pimm’s Cup 202” a custom job from Fabian that teams Pimms and Thai spiced syrup. This was easy drinking, nice and fresh with a mellow ginger-ish kick and a good herbal, spice and minty sting.

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