These days, great restaurants mean great cocktails – a list of signature drinks that diners will want to come back to, as well as seasonal inspirations that reflect trends and allow barkeeps to be as creative as the chef.
Restaurant Eugene has long been a proponent of what some in the industry refer to as “culinary cocktails” – drinks made from fresh ingredients, top shelf liquors and mixed with the creative hand of a bartender that not only gets inventive, but maintains the integrity of the chef’s menu as well.
Rarely is this done better in Atlanta than it is at Eugene. Barkeep and beverage manager Nick Hearin – dapper in his suspenders, soft spoken and self assured – is behind the bar most nights, creating drinks as awe-dacious as Hopkins’ butter poached Maine lobster.
It’s not unusual for Hearin to make his own bitters, tonic water and pickles for the varied concoctions he creates, such as “pepper pots,” made with exquisite Aviation gin (Eugene offers the best list of gin in the city) mixed with a hot-and-sour elixir of grapefruit juice and pimento peppers. His “PB and J” is an oddly seductive combination of Gruet Brut sparkling wine laced with sour cherry brand and a drop of peanut oil.