Redbird’s Bar Director Tobin Shea
Redbird just launched The Plain Truth About the Best Seeds, a new collection of 31 drinks from Bar Director Tobin Shea last week. We attended the launch party in the lovely Garden at Redbird/ Vibiana.
Strawberries and Cream
The crowd favorite was the Strawberries and Cream with local Ventura Spirits’ apple brandy along with Appleton rum. What I loved about all the drinks where how natural everything tasted. No artificial flavors here! Grappa maker Bepi Tossolini has a wild strawberry liqueur that was delicious in this clarified chai and milk drink.
Strawberries and Cream – Ventura strawberry brandy, Appleton 12 rum, Bepi Tossolini fragola (strawberry) liqueur, Pernod absinthe, Batavia arrack, chai, milk, lemon
I looked for sunflowers in the garden to pose this drink next to but we’ll just go with the dahlias! The Sunflower features a good mix of Botanist gin (one of my faves) with St. Germain and absinthe. It is a great aperitif.
Sunflower – Botanist gin, St. Germain, Cointreau, Pernod absinthe, clarified lemon, carbonation
Apples to Oranges
On the slightly more heavy side, yet still light for this warm (hot!!) summer evening, we tried Apples to Oranges. It’s like all my favorite brown, bitter, stirred drinks but much more sophisticated.
Apples to Oranges – Clear Creek apple brandy, J. Rieger Kansas City whiskey, Lustau vermut blanco, Grand Marnier, Combier elixir
Orange Blossom Special
Another easy drinker would be the Orange Blossom Special. It’s a next level gin and tonic.
Orange Blossom Special – Plymouth gin, Martini and Rossi Ambrato vermouth, clarified orange, clarified lemon, carbonation
The Scotch Bonnet may have two different Scotch whiskys but it’s another refreshing drink and perfect for our currently sweltering temperatures. It’s just a bit spicy and I loved all the citrus in it (grapefruit is my favorite citrus).
Scotch Bonnet – Glen Grant 12 single malt Scotch whisky, Bruichladdich Islay Scotch whisky, BroVo falernum, grapefruit, passion fruit, spicy tincture, lime
We also tasted a couple of other drinks (not shown); Queen Anne’s Lace (Mulholland gin, Aalborg Taffel akvavit (aquavit), Skinos Mastiha, Dolin dry vermouth, Reisetbauer carrot eau di vie, house made carrot bitters) and Honeysuckle (Maker’s 46 whiskey, Tokay wine, Dimmi liqueur).
I’m not a huge carrots fan but I like how Tobin was able to create a martini that had the essence of carrots but wasn’t a carrot juice drink. He was particularly into the Skinos Mastiha, a Mediterranean tree sap liqueur that smells like fresh carrots.
I was intrigued by the idea Redbird is also starting to raise their own bees. A little of that honey went into the Honeysuckle drink which also features a sweet wine, Tokay and Dimmi, an Italian grappa based liqueur.
This botanical inspired collection of drinks will be available until April 2019. Although there is no passport like with the Silk Road Project drinks, you could very well mark off the drinks you tried in the cute booklet. I just now have 24 more to go!
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