Vesper Lounge, which I review this week, reminds me of that AT&T commercial with the little girl competing for cutest kid. It's not that the bar Bonanno Concepts put in the former home of the divey Lancer Lounge is competing to be cutest bar (far from it). But as the tagline says at the end of the spot, "It's not complicated." See also: A closer look at Vesper Lounge -- slide show
No, Vesper is not complicated, with a product list topping out around fifty, compared to 400 or so at Green Russell, Bonanno's stylish speakeasy in Larimer Square.
"I didn't want Green Russell lite," explains Adam Hodak, Bonanno Concepts beverage director, who designed Vesper's drink program. But just as Vesper's food side comes with a chef's twist, the libations side does as well, with cocktails on tap and housemade sodas like salted grapefruit and ginger beer dispensed from a sixty-year-old soda machine Hodak found on eBay.
Besides sounding cool, cocktails on tap allow Hodak to control quality from afar, since drinks are batched in bulk. "I can be there and make an Old-Fashioned without being there to make an Old-Fashioned," he says.
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And what a good Old-Fashioned it is.