**This week finds roving reporter Nico Martini in Atlanta. Below: some findings.**
In Atlanta this week. And, well, it’s hot. Which means I’m spending a lot of time indoors. Namely, at bars. So that’s how I found myself at Pura Vida, a tapas joint with a massive wood-planked bartop and a back bar that inspired confidence. Something about the Latin music and the tango dancing just screamed mezcal. Although, to be fair, sometimes sitting alone in my house watching TV also screams mezcal.
So, into the menu I dove, which is where I found the Corazon Tan Blanco — a spirited little number with Fidenzio Classico Mezcal, grapefruit, Byrrh, Aperol and black pepper. (For those not familiar with Byrrh, it’s awesome. It’s also an apéritif made from red wine, mistelle and quinine that was created in 1866. It was sold in the US until prohibition killed its availability. But this year, it’s back.)
Anyway: mezcal? Aperol? Byrrh? Yes, please. That’s three checks on the stuff-I-like-to-drink list. The Byrrh and the grapefruit mellow out the mezcal without masking it, and the Aperol lends it’s orange-tinged hue and ties the room together with a bitter-sweet punch.
That’s a good drink. Bartender Brad Tolleson tamed this combination of mighty flavors for a remarkably smooth cocktail.
Paul Calvert is the gent behind the bar program at Pura Vida. He’s a barkeep’s barkeep, with lots of libations that appeal to drinkers into things like, say, shots of Fernet and Cynar rinses. He’s also got a knack for combining Spanish sherries with Latin spirits, and combining spirits in general (try the El Refugio, which pairs tequila with navy strength rum).
656 N Highland Ave
Atlanta, GA 30306
Also see: Drinking in Barcelona. Via Atlanta.