Cocktail Week is in full effect heading into the weekend, with a number of exciting events taking place all around the city. On Tuesday night, Yum Blog visited Jasper’s Corner Tap to try some of their specially-crafted gin drinks and small plates.
The new restaurant and bar, located at 401 Taylor Street, opened two months ago to rave reviews and it’s easy to see why: with nearly 20 beers on draft and a cocktail menu featuring some of the most cutting-edge flavors in mixology today, Jasper’s satisfies a broad audience with their creative fusion of eclectic flavors.
For their Cocktail Week event, the taproom was showcasing 4 original, artisanal drinks made with local gin from Distillery 209. The labor-intensive elixirs were engineered to suit a range of palates. For the novice gin drinker there was the Ginnocent–a fizz made with lime juice, refreshing mint, and cucumber slices and then mixed with simple syrup and soda water. The tones of juniper berry that can be sharp and biting to some were subdued in this smooth, summertime sipper.
For the more experienced gin connoisseur, there was the Ginthusiast–a martini on performance enhancing drugs, including sweet maraschino liqueur, licorice-like absinth and fragrant orange bitters. This drink was not for the faint of heart.
My personal favorite was the Monk’s Fizz–carefully concocted with lemon juice, egg white, and aromatic yellow Chartreuse. Throw in some apricot, shake it furiously and you have a delectable drink with an inviting nose and a satisfying finish. It also packed a serious, surprising punch.
Head Chef Adam Carpenter was also on-hand offering some signature bites from his diverse menu. I was particularly enamored by his pork belly grilled-cheese sandwiches, made with sinfully-luscious and tender meat that is slowly braised over 18 hours. There was also some simpler fare like their home-baked pretzels, brought to life with a smoked gouda and cheddar fondue dipping sauce.
Although their Cocktail Week event was predictably awesome, Jasper’s dinner menu is full of unexpected surprises. I can’t wait to return soon for their griddled Wagyu beef bleu-cheeseburger.