Extra Fancy's Robert Krueger Makes Fun, Fast, and Approachable Cocktails
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Baby You're Driving is one of the top drinks. We needed a crisp, not-too-strong citrus, refreshing, not sweet drink, and it just kind of came about. It's Zubrowka, Combier Grapefruit, Lillet, and fresh lime. I made it and handed it to Mark [Rancourt, Extra Fancy's co-owner], he handed it to his girlfriend, she drank it all and said, "Baby, you're driving." That's the kind of thing you're looking for. We're looking for a reason for the recipe to exist and that it comes together in one clear thought.
The Go-To is the top drink here. It's made with Ford's gin, cucumber, lime, mint, ginger beer, and elderflower. Elderflower may have a ketchup reputation with bartenders these days -- you don't want to overuse it -- but it has a place in your palette and people love it.
On the stronger side of things, we have the One More That's It, an old-fashioned style drink with Amaro Meletti and chocolate bitters and a rum and bourbon split base served on the rocks. People try it and they're like, "Oh, this is a drink."
Can you tell me about your guest bartender program?
We started doing it last summer. We call it Mixed Company. There are a lot of restaurant bar folks who hang out here. I admit, it's a way to get our friends behind our bar to show us what they know and have fun. It's a place where anybody can come and be themselves. It's why we're so well liked -- it's an open environment. The bartenders get to do their own thing, make great drinks, play, and have fun with our bar and guests. It's a collaboration. Sometimes they'll come in with six recipes, sometimes we have two and they have two. We have a sponsor brand help out, and we feature their product for the evening to make a one-night-only cocktail list. It takes place every other Wednesday.
Have you had one visit in particular that's your favorite?
Sother Teague did a great job; his was a blast. He made these re-bottled old fashioneds with bourbon and rye from Jim Beam. I think it was Nob Creek rye, Old Overholt rye, and Basil Hayden bourbon and demerara sugar and maybe bitters. It was just perfectly balanced.
Upcoming Mixed Company Schedule:
Feb 26 Pete Vasconcellos from The Penrose with Mount Gay Rum
March 12 Frank Stilo from The Standard East, Sponsor TBD
March 26 Eryn Reese from Death & Co., Sponsor TBD
April 9 Vincent Favella from Oak and Iron, Sponsor TBD