Putting Work in at B Side

The perfect bar for a rainy day, B-Side provides some powerful cocktails and warm décor.

Ambiance: ****1/2

Decor: ****1/2

Service: ****

Cocktails: ****

Overall Rating: 4.25

It was a rare Saturday with absolutely nothing to do, so I decided to be productive and get an important errand done, i.e. taste the cocktails at B Side, a restaurant in the up and coming Mosaic district of Fairfax.  A friend had mentioned it to me and, after successful trips to nearby Matchbox and True Food, I decided to keep the local campaign going.  First off, the decor was aces: I loved the low light and furnishings which–along with the torrential downpours–gave it a fun, Pacific Northwesty vibe.  Note, the standard Saturday menu features about seven cocktails but Corey, the great bartender who helped me during my tour, was nice enough to give me the full cocktail list which features nine selections.

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I started with the “Love Street” a mix of Gin, simple syrup, lemon, basil, and peppercorn.  I’ve had similar mixtures before and always liked them but this drink took it to the next level — the peppercorn and the perfect amount of basil made this a really amazing, refreshing drink.  I think I could have had about five of these and instantly fantasized about sitting outside on a hot day sipping these.  No harsh burn, not overly complex, but just right.

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I then moved on to the “Warmth of the Sun.”  Jeff Faile, the restaurant’s “Spirit Guy” (great name for a superhero) was nice enough to recommend this to me over twitter and it was probably the most intriguing drink of the day.  The mezcal buuuuurned baby, wow, what a punch.  The maraschino was a great touch and took the edge off a bit, but this will put you back a bit.  The most complex drink of the day, I enjoyed going through this slowly, with a tall glass of water nearby 🙂

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Next up was the “Hey Hey What Can I Do” a gin, honey syrup, and lemon mix.  It’s an interesting drink, I tasted a few complimentary influences as I went through, and the lemony endstate was great.  After that I went with “Through the Lonely Nights” which brings Titos, gran gala (an orange liqueur), elderflower vinegar, and lemon. I really liked this, it had a nice mouth feel and the vinegar was a great addition, adding a special twist to this simple vodka concoction.

I ended my experience with two sweeter entries, the “Giant Step” and the “Sweetest Thing.”  The Giant Step had a lot of ingredients I had never heard of before including Cappelletti (an Italian aperitif), Bonal, (aperitif) and Fernet Branch, which the wikipedia article described as smelling like “like black licorice-flavored Listerine.”  It was an interesting flavor but was my least favorite of the cocktails – it was overly bitter and tasted of medicine or candy as I went through it.  I ended on the Sweetest Thing, which is a full drink of whiskey, aperol, grenadine, and lemon.  Liked this one, it was a good send off to the day, peppy, deep, and refreshing.

Sipping at B Side was a great way to spend the day!  You can see they’ve put some real thinking and effort into their cocktails and care how they come off.  Will definitely swing by again, especially when the weather turns cooler and darker.

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