Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

August’s Where to Drink Now: Anvil Bar & Refuge

Texas may be known for longhorns, Tex-Mex cuisine and former presidents, but it rarely gets called out for its craft cocktail scene. That’s changing with the opening of Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston. Launched in March by five self-professed cocktail geeks, Anvil’s cocktail menu highlights fresh-squeezed juices, house-made tinctures and Kold-Draft ice in drinks, such as the Peruvian Riddle (made with chamomile-infused pisco) and the Border Storm (made with chili pepper-spiked homemade ginger beer).

And while the cocktails are deliciously inventive, the beer list—with its constantly rotating taps and cask selections featuring the likes of Victory, Stone and a variety of Belgian brews—is also worth checking out. And just so those iconic longhorn cattle can still make an appearance somehow, the small but delectable food menu offers locally sourced cheeses, meats and pâtés.

1424 Westheimer Rd., Houston; 713-523-1622; anvilhouston.com; also check out drinkdogma.com, the bar’s companion blog.

Peruvian Riddle
2 oz. chamomile-infused pisco (Heugel uses Barsol Quebranta)
1 oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth (Martini & Rossi Bianco will work too)
2 dashes orange bitters
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: lemon twist

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake well, strain into a chilled glass and garnish.

To infuse the pisco, steep one cup of dried chamomile flowers into one 750 ml bottle of pisco for four days. Double strain into a clean glass bottle.

Robert Heugel, Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston