Thursday, December 4, 2008

San Diego Bar Review: Modus

So we're starting this new program of reviewing San Diego bars and those who make the drinks, and we're starting strong. Really strong. Modus strong. This fantastic establishment is run by mixologist Ariana Johnson and her husband and is built around bringing locally sourced, seasonal items to your plate and glass.
The Jess and I, along with Captain Sizzle and his new fiance The Amusing San Diegan, rolled into Modus with high hopes and I'm happy to say they were not only met, but exceeded. Ariana, who was recognized as one of the top 10 mixologists in America by Playboy magazine, rolled out the very best of the season, including "Winter Brew". This concoction presents whiskey, Licor 43 (a vanilla-flavored Spanish liquor), ginger ale, unfiltered apple juice, and some citrus, served tall.
The whiskey comes up front, with a hint of the vanilla, then your palate rolls through sweet ginger, and the apple juice hangs out at the finish. Even though it's ice-cold, this drink is a warming romp through the flavors of winter.
Check out this article in the San Diego Tribune which has a picture of this brilliant drink, ours came with a slice of fresh ginger as garnish, not lime, which was just perfect. If this wasn't enough, we got a complimentary round of her new invention, "Drunken Pumpkin". Fresh-roasted pumpkin, which is pureed, and that's all I'm going to say about that, though I'll add the glass is rimmed with a powdered sugar-nutmeg mixture.
There are several other drinks on the seasonal menu, which turns over every few months, but the standard menu hosts multiple other strokes of genius, including The Jess' favorite drink of all time, a cayenne-tinged tequila and passionfruit based elixir known as "Latina".
The bar area is perfect for a group of people to relax together (remember my birthday party?) and the full restaurant menu is available. They've got the music at just the right volume and the lighting at just the right brightness.
We're starting this new tradition of reviewing San Diego bars with a bang, because you will find the most creative, flavorful, enticing, and delicious drinks this city has to offer when you go to Modus

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