It’s inspiring to be present at a moment of creation. I wasn’t there for all the tinkering and tasting bartender Tyler Sherwood did behind the scenes to craft and perfect his new concoction, but I was in The Hutch, 6437 Avondale, at the right moment to witness him give this cocktail – inspired as it is by spring weather and the restaurant’s symbolic spirit animal – its name: the Killer Rabbit.
It starts with a base of Lakewood organic carrot juice (that’s the good stuff) and lemon juice. The alcoholic engines powering it are mezcal, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur and a dash of aquavit, which I’ve never encountered in a cocktail before, but whose dill and caraway flavors actually pair really well with carrot juice. It’s finished out with orange bitters, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of house-made cayenne and honey simple syrup, and served with a garnish of pea shoots for the carrot-like visual appeal.
There’s a lot going on in this glass, yet it all comes together quite smoothly. The result rewards the palate with a little smoke from the mezcal, a little sparkle from the ginger, a little lingering heat from the cayenne and a crisp, earthy, delicious whole.
The Hutch has an excellent patio, and the Killer Rabbit should be a great accompaniment for enjoying the sunshine. You probably won’t even need a Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch … but don’t forget your shades.