Heading Uptown for Cure
Cure is a bar that’s recently opened Uptown on the corner of Freret and Upperline. Now, I’m not a big fan of just going to bars, but I heard Cure was a place where they really focus on crafting quality cocktails, not pumping out Hurricanes for drunken tourists, so my Cure-iosity (thank you, I’ll be here all week) was definitely piqued.
We went around 6pm on a Friday evening and sat at the bar. Ricky greeted us and made our first round of drinks– a Sazerac for Brother O’Mara and a Ramos Fizz for myself. I loved watching him construct our cocktails–he clearly takes pride in what he does. Once we had our exquisite libations in hand, we were able to sit back and examine both the menu and the bar itself.
The Bar at Cure
Brother O’Mara’s Sazerac
Ricky told us that the owners had purchased the building in a dilapidated state and redone every inch of the place. They have truly done a beautiful job, from the polished bar to the atmospheric lighting, to the oasis-like patio outside. The place is both decorated and run with loads of style.
The food menu consists of a selection of small plates clearly meant to compliment the cocktails rather than overshadow them. A salad, a couple of panini-style sandwiches, poached pears with Serrano ham. Brother O’Mara and I settled on the cheese plate and the cured meat plate. We got a more than satisfactory spread:
Cheese plate: Chef’s selection of cheeses, we got Manchego, Mimolette, and Maytag Blue, accompanied by dates and tasty spiced almonds.
Meat plate: Sliced Spanish chorizo and Serrano ham with marinated olives and cornichons.
We spoke briefly with either the owner or the manager about the cocktail menu and he told us how they like to rotate it every couple of weeks. Another bartender, Rhiannon, explained that they do a combination of original drinks invented by the staff and classic cocktails with contemporary twists. As far as beer and wine, the selection is very limited, but very interesting and well-chosen at the same time.
Rhiannon was a gracious hostess and extremely patient with our questions. During our conversations with her about different cocktails and liquors, she inspired our choices for the second round of drinks. Brother O’Mara decided on a Dark and Stormy and I couldn’t resist Rhiannon’s description of The Last Word, made with gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice (recipes at the bottom of the page, natch).
Rhiannon hard at work.
Two drinks were enough for each of us–any more and we wouldn’t be able to appreciate them for the works of art that they were. We finished up and bid our adieus to Rhiannon, relaxed and incredibly pleased with our experience at Cure.
Cure is located at 4905 Freret Street, right on the corner of Upperline. Keep your eyes open, as there is not a sign outside.
(all photos by Brother O’Mara)
Today’s cocktail recipes:
1/2 tsp. absinthe or Herbsaint (Ricky–simply and ingeniously–misted the glass with absinthe)
1 tsp. simple syrup
4 dashes Peychaud Bitters
2 oz. rye whisky
Stir the rye, bitters, and simple syrup with ice and strain into absinthe-coated glass. Garnish with lemon.
Ramos Gin Fizz
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 egg white
1 tsp sugar
2 oz gin
1/2 oz cream
2-3 dashes orange flower water
Shake all ingredients for a good while in a shaker without ice, to get everything nice and frothy. Add ice and shake some more to get it cold. Strain into a glass and top with soda water.
Dark and Stormy
2 oz. dark rum (specifically Gosling’s Black Seal)
3 oz. ginger beer (traditionally Barrit’s, but I think they use Regatta at Cure)
Make as a highball and garnish with a lime wedge.
The Last Word
3/4 oz. gin
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. green Chartreuse
3/4 oz. maraschino liqueur
Shake well with ice and strain into a glass.