Eighteen36 in Higher Kirby is making its mark on Houston’s cocktail scene

The last year has been tough for Texas bars. Many large ones, including the one in Houston, have had to change drastically due to the pandemic and Governor Greg Abbott’s order to shut it down temporarily. Some bars did not survive. On the positive side, some new bars have managed to open and survive despite the problems. One of them is Eighteen36, 2221 West Alabama. It opened at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and not only has it survived but continues to grow.

Eighteen36 is located in a building created as a collaboration between the cocktail bar of the same name and Bellaire’s. acts Roadster Grill, which closed in 2017, but the Greek and American classics have new life here. Thanks to the varied menu, there is a dish for almost everything on the varied cocktail menu.

Josh Saphier is the curator behind the wide variety of beverage options at Eighteen36. Photo by Ryan Baker.

Josh Saphier, an experienced bartender who has worked in cocktail programs across the country – including four and a half years at the prestigious Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills – oversees the bar program. The drinks menu is meticulously and sophisticatedly designed. In fact, Saphier said one of its goals is to be recognized by organizations like Tales of the Cocktail, which has an annual awards program.

The range of cocktails is extensive and includes three categories of daily beverages, to-go options, takeaway sets, and the “Innovative Cocktail” list of 10 beverages in the $ 11-15 price range. There is also a large selection of beer and wine as well as a well-rounded list of spirits. Houston Food Finder was invited to visit and sample some of the drinks.

There are creative references to pop culture, like our first drink of the evening, Glass box of emotion. Named after a scene from the movie Anchorman, it’s a nifty, balanced drink made from green chartreuse, Venezuelan rum, and sherry. The Venezuelan rum Diplomatico used is an excellent choice as its smooth taste does not tarnish the herbal qualities of the Chartreuse. The cocktail is topped off with orange juice and topo chico, making it a crunchy drink that’s light enough to enjoy at any time of the day or night.

eighteen36 old sparkling cocktailThe Old Sparky on Eighteen36’s signature cocktail menu uses a pop rock rimmed glass for a fun twist. Photo by Ryan Baker.

A good old-fashioned is a must have in any bar, and Eighteen36 offers it Smoked cherry old fashion. This play on the iconic drink is made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, both chocolate and cherry bitter, and uses Luxardo cherry syrup in place of sugar, which gives the drink a dense mouthfeel. The drink is smoked under glass in front of the guests, which gives it an additional taste and aroma as well as a visual appeal.

The six drinks that make up Eighteen36’s signature cocktail menu are either $ 11 or $ 12, and some frozen options are included. An example of a non-frozen drink is Old Sparky, with gin, bitters, lemon juice and cynar. The rich drink contains a little lightness thanks to the glass rimmed with pop rock. Not only is it fun, it’s also functional; the candy gives a little more sweetness and a crackling feeling.

Eighteen36 has an aged version of the classic Vieux Carre. Photo by Ryan Baker.

Eighteen36 costs between $ 12 and $ 15 and also has a menu dedicated to the classics and with well-known names like The last word, Paper planes and penicillin. It’s easy to find something for all guests. The preparation really shines with that matured in barrel Old place and Boulevardier, two drunk cocktails became milder thanks to nine weeks of rest.

Eighteen36 is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Learn how to make three cocktails from a list of Prepare 12 ways like Old Fashioned, Aviation, Mai Tai and Black Manhattan. Visit the class page for more information.

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