At the Bar: Picasso Cafe
The art of summer cocktails
The Paseo Historic Arts District is a great place for strolling from door to door to browse among paintings, jewelry and other reifications of creativity – but exploration is thirsty work, especially now that summer is here. Fortunately, artistic expression comes in many forms, including the liquid creations on the menu at Picasso Café, 3009 Paseo. Owner Kim Dansereau engineers the cocktails, and has whipped up a few genuinely inviting ones for this summer season – drinks perhaps best enjoyed under the shady orange umbrellas out front.
Case in point: The World’s Fanciest Mojito combines Ron Zacapa Guatemalan rum – unusually smooth and among the world’s finest – with Pasubio Amaro, a liqueur Dansereau describes as a “wild mountain blueberry bitter,” slices of kiwi and strawberry, lime juice, and a sprig of mint. It’s cool, colorful and quite refreshing.
Even better, though, is the Jane Valdez (as in Juan’s wife), which uses Cenizo Mezcal Joven. That means it’s made from a wild Mexican agave and bottled “young,” not aged in oak barrels that mute the flavor. Dansereau mixes in a house-made grapefruit and peppercorn shrub with vanilla bean simple syrup for a surprisingly smooth drink with tart, smoky and peppery elements present but in perfect balance. Get comfortable and try one … or maybe two. After all, it’s warm out there.