Cocktails: The Tree Bar

  • Photos by Meghan Ralston
By Columbus Alive
From the November 1, 2012 edition

The Tree Bar has a long and storied history — dating back to its days as Andyman’s Treehouse — as one of Columbus’ best spots showcasing independent music. It’s also bred dedicated patrons by being a welcoming place for anyone looking to have a few drinks with friends.

It’s not that we needed another reason to swing by the hard-to-find-harder-to-leave watering hole, but the Tree Bar’s new cocktail menu does just that. Five classic-inspired cocktails created by mixologist consultant Chris Manis are now being served at The Tree Bar during a daily cocktail hour from 7-9 p.m. All are excellently crafted drinks, but here’s a rundown of my favorites.

Manhattan Radio Fire

This twist on the Manhattan uses a healthy dose of Knob Creek rye with Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and two bitters (whiskey barrel and Hellfire Habanero Shrub). It’s a stiff cocktail with bold flavors and served in a coupe. The glassware says high-class. The high concentration of alcohol says I mean business. I like to call it the fancy man cocktail.

Silver Maple Smoke

If you like to drink your smoke, this is for you. An Elijah Craig 12-year bourbon infused with Russian Caravan Tea from ZenCha Tea Salon is the base, but the house-smoked maple syrup bellows the huge smoky aroma. The smolder is toned down on the palette by the infused bourbon and black walnut bitters, making polar opposites — sweet meets savory — come together.

Sunny Side of the Street

While I really enjoyed this cocktail — yet another strong one — it’s hard to describe, and like nothing I’ve ever tried before. The combination of Tanqueray gin, Getreide-Kummel Caraway liqueur and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur (with a spot of lemon juice and agave syrup) transforms the flavors into something completely different and original. Just try it — even if you’re not a Tanqueray fan — it’s unabashedly intoxicating.