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“a woman walks into a bar…” at The Lincoln in Venice

on 25/04/16 at 2:10 pm

a woman walks into a bar...

Girl-barfinal1Walking into The Lincoln, you may think you stepped into a time machine and found yourself in a cool bar in someone’s garage back in the 40’s. Well, a nicely cleaned up garage because The Lincoln is meticulously recreated with old-timey design elements like salvaged wood, authentic industrial and automotive accents like stools made from automobile jacks and a wall and ceiling  made of hundreds of pounded tin battery covers. There’s plenty of comfy seating inside and a lovely outdoor patio with a friendly community table (re-purposed wood, of course) as the centrepiece. As you amble to your seat, make sure you check out the extraordinary ‘diorama’ at the back of the room of a 1927 Model T Roadster staged behind floor to ceiling glass panes like the carcass of a rare dinosaur frozen in time.

frontBut the pièce de résistance is the bar. As it should be. The spectacular 30-foot back bar has 20 different vintage cabinetry pieces, shelving and fixtures – a collector’s dream. But the real reason to celebrate the bar are the kick-ass cocktails made by head bartender, Cameron Dodge-White. How do I know? I, along with a seasoned drinking comrade, tried all the specialty cocktails on the menu. As per the old saw, someone had to do it. And we’re totally, super glad we did!

Cameron’s cocktails are simple and booze forward. Just the way we like ’em. You can actually taste the spirit without it being mucked up with a laundry list of curious ingredients. The secondary ingredients in Cameron’s cocktails act as the foundation to highlight the spirit much as a supporting cast focuses attention on the main actor. The cocktails are ‘welcomingly’ drinkable and delicious…witness the fact that we drank all seven of them! Ok, we split the cocktails so it only came to three and a half cocktails each. Drinking a lot of water inbetween drinks is an essential tip for extended imbibing without falling off your bar stool.

So, without further ado, I will tell you what we drank.

We started with a Boulevardier, which, thank the lord, wasn’t too sweet and overwrought as it seems Boulevardiers are being made these days. Cameron’s cocktail was perfect, made with Elijah Craig 12 Year, Carpano Antica, Orange bitters.

The Danger Zone…the name is not an overstatement…waaaay easy to drink! Green Mark Russian Wheat Vodka, St. Germaine, Grapefuit, Champagne Float.

Hot Route: Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Cucumber, Lime, Watermelon Shrub, Smoked Salt. That smoked salt on the rim is great…smells smokier than it tastes and just right.

The Old Man & The Floor: El Dorado Rum 8 Year, Wooded Demerara, Grapefruit, Lime. I could drink this take on a Hemingway daiquiri all day long!

Menthylamine: Plymouth Gin, Mint, Egg, Lime, Simple Syrup, Atominzed Fernet. Don’t worry. This isn’t a cocktail variation for  Menthyl amine: A stereospecific cyclohexane compound for organic synthesis and proteomics research. It’s just a bloody delicious cocktail perfect for breakfast, actually, cause you know…egg.

The Ol’Horizon: Olmeca Altos Tequila, Aperol, Carpano Antica, Noilly Prat (Note: both sweet & dry vermouth), Lemon bitters. Kind of like a tequila Manhattan but really its own delectable drink!

Grandpa Cal’s Old Tyme Cure-All: Evan Williams whiskey, House B&B (Cameron blends his own B&B), Lemon, Cinnamon honey, Earl Grey. Ya know what? This really is Cameron’s grandpa’s cure-all for when you’re under the weather but, seriously, you can pretend you are and just savour this drink anytime. Thanks, Grandpa Cal!

Sadly, we came to the end of our tasting. It was more like a ‘drinking’ because, did I mention we had SEVEN cocktails?! Let me just say that while you can get a recipe for a cocktail, it is not just the ingredients – which do matter, of course – but it’s the indefinable ‘hand’ that pours and mixes a drink that makes it just so right. That’s why you can order the same cocktail at every bar you go to, made with the same spirits, the same proportions, and yet, not every one will taste the same. If it’s a fabulous cocktail, you’ll know which bartenders have got ‘the hand’. Cameron has got ‘the hand’.

A bar can be designed by a star architect or top interior designer but what matters, if a customer is to make a return trip, is what goes on behind the bar. Double props to The Lincoln for its creative design and top bar so put it on your bucket list right now! Oh, there’s no food except for peanuts and pretzels so eat beforehand or brownbag it.

The Lincoln
2536 Lincoln Boulevard
Venice CA 90291
Monday-Saturday 7PM- 2AM
Sunday 2PM-10PM