The cocktails-on-tap trend has become a full-fledged movement with two new additions in the past week: Hogo, the rum bar next to the Passenger, has traded beer for house-made sangria on one of its taps, and the days-old Teddy and the Bully Bar offers two draft cocktails and no draft beer. Here's an update on some of the best draft cocktails in town.
Teddy and the Bully Bar
While Teddy's barrel-aged classic cocktails won't be ready until July 8, the bar is currently pouring two carbonated cocktails from the tower in the middle of the bar. The Americano is a classic aperitif: Campari, soda and sweet vermouth. The Sheeney's Rickey is more of a deconstructed rickey. Green Hat Gin and seltzer get a bit of bourbon reduction for sweetness – ordinarily, a rickey has gin or bourbon – and then a lime foam on top. Its name has some history behind it: A Sheeney Rickey was a rickey variation popular in the early 20th century that didn't include the shell of a lime in the glass. Since Teddy's version is similarly lime-less, the name is appropriate. Both drinks cost $12.
The red wine sangria gets a tropical punch from fresh ginger, hibiscus and lime juice, plus other spices. It's wonderfully refreshing over ice on a hot day, and at $8, it won't break the bank.
While dozens of sherries hog the limelight at Shaw's new sherry and ham bar, there are two cocktails on tap. One might be familiar: A Green Hat Gin and tonic with a house-made apple and sage tonic, which is also on tap at Red Apron at Union Market. (The draft tonic was developed for Red Apron by Mockingbird Hill bartender JP Fetherston and co-owner Derek Brown.) The other tap is used for Vya Vermouth, which is Brown's favorite sweet vermouth to drink straight. It's served as an easy mixed drink, in a glass with a rock-sized ice cube, topped with soda water and served with an orange slice for $7.
Manager/mixologist Jonathan Fain lets his cocktails age for a month before putting them on tap at Pilar, which won the "Hottest Bar Scene" award at the Rammy Awards earlier this week. His Old Pal (rye whiskey, vermouth and Campari) is an easy-drinking summer concoction – both the whiskey burn and Campari bitterness have mellowed with age. It sells for $12.
Range calls its vodka-soda cocktail "The Name Says It All," but there's really more to the story. Tito's vodka is infused with rhubarb, ginger and angelica, and then topped with a house-made soda. The spices change seasonally, says bartender Owen Thomson: The original version included lemongrass and cardamom. No matter what's in it, the cocktail is $11.
On a hot day, it doesn't get much more simple (or cheap) than El Chucho's draft margarita. Silver tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice for $5. Stop by during happy hour (4 to 6:30 p.m. and all-night Monday) and it's only $4.