In sales, they say that it takes five good impressions to overcome a bad first impression. I know this is true, because I have, on occasion and against all odds, made a lousy first impression — and have had to work hard to overcome it. And although I loved the beautiful decor and delicious food I found at Colt & Gray when it opened last August, the bar made a bad first impression, and it took a while for me to try the place again. Fortunately, I did, and this time I recognized that the bar at Colt & Gray is truly inspired. The vintage cocktails (Corpse Reviver #2, Bobby Burns and Bijou #2) are an ideal way for neophytes to taste the classics; the original cocktail list is inspired by those same classics, with a modern twist. The RyePA ($9), made with Avery malt-infused whiskey (malt from Avery Brewing Company infused in Four Roses Whiskey), IPA Cordial (IPA beer flattened and sweetened with sugar) and Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth, tastes like a mouth-watering malted muddy Manhattan. And though I don't normally like sweet drinks, the Dublin Coffee ($9) now ranks on my top-ten list of favorite cocktails. Made with a homemade Guinness Liqueur, Jameson twelve-year-old whiskey and a whole egg, it's the perfect example of a cocktail whose taste is larger than the sum of its parts. Lesson learned. First impressions should be saved for business and dating, not drinking.
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