Pin It

Valentine Boozing 

Plaza's passion and from Russia with love

click to enlarge table_talk-cropped.jpg

Grant Scott-Goforth

Valentine's Day is underrated as a drinking holiday, particularly if you're single. It's no New Year's or St. Patrick's, but everybody is either toasting or drowning their sorrows. Sometimes both.

If you're going out to celebrate/brood, Arcata's Plaza Grill has a pretty enough bar for a date (you don't want to do hipster-dive-slumming on Valentine's), and it's bustling enough for a single person not to feel like he or she is an extra in someone else's proposal scene. It also has the Harlequin Romance-named Poetic Passion in a Glass — the drink equivalent of a shirtless Fabio on a horse ($8). When asked for a romantic drink, bartender Rick Vance (who had a shirt) whipped up the concoction with Mango Passion Sorbet Smirnoff, cranberry juice, sour mix and passion fruit purée. Are you getting the passion theme? Jillian Thayer, another Plaza Grill barkeep, invented it for just such occasions.

The dark pink and orange ombré drink is tangy and a bit like a gummy peach ring with a less obnoxious aftertaste. The consistency is nice, the purée adding a pulpiness that almost convinces you that it's juice. (Healthy!) Adding to this illusion is the total absence of any taste of alcohol. If you're over 25, this is a one-a-night drink. It's tasty enough to toss back a few without effort, but the sugar hangover would be murder — is that a crime of passion?

Staying in for the night? No reason to mail it in on the drinks. The iconically decadent Russian Tea Room in New York (giant, revolving bear-shaped aquarium, gilded everything) used to serve a champagne cocktail that was Fabergé-egg glamorous and easy to make. Sadly, the Czarina, a blushing flute of champagne with floating pomegranate seeds, has been retired to make room for more aggressive cocktails like the Ivan the Terrible and a caviar martini. (The very idea puts Sochi in stark relief.) If your budget doesn't allow for a corker of a champagne, don't skimp and risk a cheap bubbly headache. Instead, go for prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine that, at a fraction of the price, is just as lovely and festive but casual enough for lunch. Look at you, striking the perfect balance between the aristocracy and the proletariat.

The Czarina

1 flute of chilled champagne or prosecco

1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup

1 spoonful of fresh pomegranate seeds

Drizzle the syrup slowly down to the bottom of the flute and drop in the little garnet seeds. Cheers, darling!

  • Pin It
  • Plaza's passion and from Russia with love

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Dev Richards

Dev Richards

Bio:
Dev Richards has been a freelancer for the Journal since 2011.

More by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

More by Dev Richards

Latest in Table Talk

  • Seed and Potatoes

    Wild mustard seed aloo matar
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Hum Plate

    Paris, New York, Mexico City
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • A Warm Fall

    Healthy treats for cutting back on coffee
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • No Shame in Cans

    Quick and dirty black bean stew
    • Apr 23, 2015
  • Chile vs. Chile

    Nine restaurants throw down for a county-wide show down
    • Aug 13, 2015

© 2016 The North Coast Journal Weekly

Website powered by Foundation

humboldt