The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2013

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PTS NCE CO GREAT Prohibition's Bar Manager, Tyler French, considers the San Diego venue to be "a music club with a killer cocktail scene." Making Beautiful Music PROHIBITION STRIVES TO PUSH THE BOUNDARIES OF THE MODERN SPEAKEASY by Rich Manning / photos by Leigh Castelli P rohibition's front door is squeezed between a pair of sports bars in San Diego's perpetually adrenalized Gaslamp District. Its lengthy glass pane boasts the name of a phony law office with a fanciful Fitzgeraldian moniker. Walking through it leads you down a staircase and into an Art Deco, red-hued space where craft cocktails like the Fernet-infused Olivia After Dinner are being concocted and rules of conduct weeding out riff-raff are being observed. A small alcove off to the side dubbed the "Scotch Counter" serves Glenfiddich, Macallan, and some 40 other single malts for those not wanting to wait at the bar. Sounds like a modern speakeasy, no? While Prohibition accepts such a description, it's not their personal perception. "We consider ourselves to be a music club with a killer cocktail scene," explains Tyler French, Prohibition's Bar Manager. "We like that we're a sanctuary for people who want to escape the fist-pumping vibe of the Gaslamp, but we also want to be known as a place where people can come in, grab a seat, and enjoy good music." While Prohibition fortifies this tune-tempered philosophy with its ability to lure some of San Diego's finest musicians to its underground lair, the drinks served here aren't meant to be background fodder. In fact, the venue has found entertaining ways to intertwine both passions. For example, French collaborated with fellow San Diego mixologist Ian Ward to create a special 17 drink cocktail menu built around the songs of The Beatles' Abbey Road, which Prohibition featured at an April event along with a band that played the album in its entirety. While this endeavor crystallizes French's vision of the space being a bastion of music and drink, it also points to a higher purpose. "All we want to ultimately do here," he says, "is to create great cocktails and provide a great atmosphere." And in the end, isn't that what a speakeasy is all about? Olivia After Dinner ◗ 1 oz. Fernet Branca ◗ 1 oz. Carpano Antica formula vermouth ◗ ½ oz. simple syrup ◗ 1 whole egg ◗ Angostura bitters ◗ Grated nutmeg  ◗ Place Fernet Branca, vermouth, simple syrup, and egg into tin. Shake without ice until it emulsifies, then shake it with ice. Strain into coupe glass. Add bitters and nutmeg on top of beverage. july 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  99 TP0713_066-99.indd 99 6/24/13 5:49 PM

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