Balliceaux’s new drink menu aims to mix Southeast-Asian spice with classic cocktail flavors
Since Balliceaux reopened earlier this month, there’s been a number of changes at the now 6-year-old bar and restaurant. While the aesthetic changes are the most visible, the back of house went through the bigger alteration.
We wrote some about the new menu over at RVAMag, but when we got invited to try the new cocktail menu last week, we had to speak with their new Beverage Director Scott Sliauzis about some of the amazing flavors we encountered.
Sliauzis has been in RVA for about three years. He left a gig at San Francisco’s Savoy Tivoli, a 100-year-old bar with tons of history, and brought some of that history along with him.
He said the new menu aims to mix Balliceaux’s new Southeast-Asian flavor with classic drink options, creating a menu you wont find anywhere else in town.
For example, Sliauzis took one of the most popular cocktails from 1886, a Sherry Cobbler, and added jackfruit and other spices to create the Thai Me Up.
“[It's] some of the inspiration, mixing the fun newer stuff, with the stalwart classics there,” he said.
Many trips to the asian grocery, Tan-A, helped build the new drink list, with incidents like lychee, thai chili, thai basil, and palm sugar playing leading roles. The final product is a series of beverages that are sure to knock your socks off in a town that is becoming known for its cocktail culture.
But Sliauzis, who took over for former Beverage Director Sean Rapoza earlier this year, doesn’t see RVA’s bar scene as competitive; rather he thinks it a group of bar-men and women creating a great scene city-wide.
“I don’t feel a sense of cutthroat competition… it’s much more about us building this scene together,” he said. “I feel lucky to be able to design and develop a cocktail program in a relatively small city with [other local bar managers] as my peers.”
Be sure to try some of Balliceaux’s new food along with one of Sliauzis’ new drinks – he said he worked closely with their new head chef, John Wilson, to create complimenting flavors.
“I hope when people come out and have a cocktail they can pair it with some octopus or some kai-lan as it was designed,” he said. “I think it really showcases the new additions to Balliceaux.”
As for the drink specifics, you’ve got 9+ to chose from, priced from $5-12. They vary in flavor and strength, but all are sure to please any pallet.
As for the drinks we sampled:
I started the night with the The Cobra Show:
The spicy/sweet mix of Mehkong Thai Spirit, Nigori Sake, and Thai Chilis was complimented by a coffee bean garnish. It was milky and smooth, not too high proof, but delicious none the less.
Next up was the LSD & Motorbikes:
This one my good friend sampled, and he enjoyed the hell out of it. Made of Bols Genever, Verjus and Cinnamon, this bad boy was named perfectly. Garnished with (what I think was) a lychee nut, this beverage is not for the faint of heart.
My personal favorite of the night was the Kampot 1806:
This mix of Carpano Bianco, My Armaro, cherry, lemon, and egg white packed a punch. My only regret was I didn’t have about two more and an Uber waiting to drive me home afterword.
Animal RVA will return to Balliceaux this weekend for their monthly gig, this time, in support of the Richmond Peace Education Center. The collective consists of DJs, musicians, and artists who regularly produce queer-friendly events in the area and will bring their beat-heavy dance party to the venue with DJ CONLEY DIRT ϟTAϟH and ZAVVl. And [...]August 23, 2016
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