Clan of the Cocktail 

We asked Richmond bartenders to create drinks inspired by family members. Here are their tributes by the glassful.

click to enlarge feat26_bar_guide_clan_james_menefee.jpg

Scott Elmquist

James Menefee
Patrick Henry's Pub & Grille

Inspired by: Brother, Brooks

1 1/2 ounces red wine
1 ounce Jack Daniels
2 muddled cherries
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Lemon garnish
Shaken and poured over ice.

I grew up in a neighborhood in South Side and the only way to describe it was kind of a party block. In the summer, everyone's front porches turned into a bar and every week there was always a congregation at someone's house with a big cookout and parents and kids hanging out. At this one particular cookout, my brother and I — I was 12 years old and he was 10 — snuck up to the bar when our parents weren't looking. I dared my brother to sneak a drink. He grabbed the first two things he could, which were a carafe of sangria and a bottle of Jack Daniels. He took a sip of the sangria then a pull of the Jack Daniels and I was just shocked. He looked at me with this smug look that he had conquered the dare and then almost immediately, he threw everything up. It happened in the span of a few seconds, and thankfully, no one noticed. If our parents found out, we would have been grounded for the rest of the summer.

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist

Eric Fortin
Rogue Gentlemen

Inspired by: Father, Gerry

2 ounces Death's Door Gin
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 ounce lavender simple syrup
Small handful of blueberries
2-3 large sage leaves
Muddled, shaken and double strained into an ice-filled wine glass, garnished with blueberries and sage.

My father is the reason I got into the restaurant industry. He's the owner of Lucille's Bakery and was the executive chef at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for many years. This drink is inspired by the times I went to work with him and got to hang out in the kitchen. I had a lot of awesome memories seeing what restaurants were like. I would wander around the VMFA like it was my playground. The Jumping in July event was always a fun time full of jazz music and other summertime events. One of my favorite dishes my dad made was a blueberry Alaskan-style dish and I wanted to incorporate those flavors in the cocktail.

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist

Beth Dixon

Magnolia Blossom
Inspired by: 4-year-old daughter, Ellie

1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounces cream
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier orange liqueur
1/2 ounce magnolia tincture
Shaken and poured over ice, garnished with lemon peel.

My daughter is currently obsessed with magnolia trees. It was the first tree she learned to identify, so whenever she see a magnolia tree, she gets really excited and has to point it out to me. I told her a story about how I got stuck in a magnolia tree when I was little and that my dad had to rescue me. She fell in love with this story and proceeded to tell everyone about it — and still does! I really wanted to bring that sweet taste of magnolia out in this drink because that always reminds me of her.

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist

Ellen Bucher
Max's on Broad

Fiery Mother
Inspired by: Mother, Carol Hess

2 ounces Espolon tequila
1 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz Solerno blood orange liqueur
Splash of agave syrup
3 jalapeño slices, 2 cucumber slices, 6 basil leaves, muddled
Shaken and poured over ice, garnished with basil leaf and jalapeño.

My mom is a very strong, independent woman. She's very fiery. She's been trying to get into mixology since I got into bartending. Her bar cabinet started with Hpnotiq and Hennessy. I've tried to steer her away from those and getting her into things like rum and tequila. She's fallen in love with tequila and she's also into really spicy foods. I wanted to infuse her newfound love of tequila and spiciness by using jalapeños that she grows in her garden. The basil and cucumber also comes from her garden and whenever I'm at her house, I'm always picking things out of there. I wanted this drink to be spicy to show off her fiery nature.

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist

Kat Price
New York Deli

Burnt Peach Tea
Inspired by: Mother, Joanie

3 ounces Wasmund's Single-Malt Whisky
1 1/2 - 2 ounces Peach Schnapps
Poured over ice and filled with sweet tea.

I was born and raised in Richmond and my Mom taught me everything about being a Southern belle. We both love "Gone with the Wind." She made me a Scarlett O'Hara outfit when I was little and even named me Katie Scarlett after the character. My mom always, always has sweet tea in the house, and I knew that had to be a part of the drink. I wanted to bring out the Southern aspect of sweet tea and peaches with the smoky flavor whiskey.

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist

Henry Fussell
Southern Railway Taphouse

The Ginger
Inspired by: Mother, Jill

1 1/4 ounces Hendrick's Gin
Less than 1/4 ounces — a few dashes — St. Germain
Topped off with Crabbie's Ginger Beer.
Garnished with lime or cucumber.

My parents' heritage is Scottish, French and English and each part of the drink represents that. My bartending career is dedicated to Mom, who was the one who pushed me into it. When I was younger, I almost went into the military. My Mom sat me down and asked me if I wanted to be happy. She said: "I know you. You can't tolerate my authority. How are you going to tolerate military authority?" She worked in the restaurant industry for 15-20 years and wanted me to experience it because she knew me too well. I lost her to cancer in 2009. She was an amazing Mom. She always said, "Treat people the way you want to be treated and if it comes back, then that's a good person." And this drink is in honor of her.


Latest in Food and Drink


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Andrew Cothern

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation