On a recent Friday night we went to FINO to pay a visit to Bill Norris. Bill, you may recall, is the winner of the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup semifinals, who went on to compete in the finals in New Zealand, on a team that placed second among some truly world-class talent. On this particular evening, however, it wasn't Bill's resume that drew us to FINO, but rather his promise of a showcase of Don Julio beverages which he was working on for a special promotion. By special, I mean that the fine folks of Don Julio were paying and we were sipping.
This post will be typical of many in which I take a bunch of pictures and no notes, and therefore have to sift through my tipsy memory to figure out what the hell we were drinking. Here goes:
This drink had Don Julio reposado and St Germain. And egg white. And something else. This drink was custom made for the evening's festivities, and I cannot recall the recipe. Perhaps Mr. Norris himself will fill us in.
Bill does a drink on the winter menu called the Sunshine Port, featuring white port, Dripping Springs vodka and Q tonic with house-made NOPA bitters
There is a Gazpacho Martini on the regular cocktail menu that I know they sell a lot of at FINO. It's made with Sauza Blanco tequila that they infuse with grilled tomatoes, cucumbers, chiles & bell peppers in a big jar. I sometimes get the feeling that this is a drink that Bill would rather not make, but it's so popular they can't take it off the menu.
I believe that this is a Southside cocktail
The Mediterranean Martini 2.0, if that's what this is, consists of Charbay Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka, Grapefruit Juice, and Grapefruit bitters.
Is this a Last Word?
Ultimately this is what we were hoping to get a taste of (no offense to your fabulous cocktail, Mr. Norris). It retails at $100+/bottle, and $30-something for a glass at a restaurant, so we had never had the pleasure. It's really a treat to partake of, very supple and buttery. Thank you, friendly Don Julio rep!
And when you've had enough cocktails and need to grub, you have two choices. The first is to eat at FINO, which has great food. But if you're on a budget, we recommend going down the street to Salvation Pizza and getting one (or two) of their bitchin' pies.
Since this particular evening, I have been back to try some brand new Bill Norris cocktails--highly recommended. I am particularly fond of the Irish Monks cocktail, which consists of Jameson, Yellow Chartreuse, and Earl Grey syrup. Go check it out during weekday happy hours and this beauty is only $7.