The best cocktail bars typically serve flawless classics alongside creative originals, and often mix up their menus at least a few times per year to keep things fresh. Apothecary in Dallas hits that mark, readily making Old Fashioneds and Negronis, but putting countless hours into their signature drinks, which feature ingredients run through sous vide machines and centrifuges. For their current menu, they looked to the zodiac and its 12 astrological signs.
Outside of holidays and special events, which always see fun items hit the bar top — like Thanksgiving drinks that incorporate turkey, potatoes and cranberry, to surprisingly well-balanced effect — this is Apothecary’s first themed menu.
“We always want to do fun, new things that engage people,” says Tanner Agar, Apothecary co-owner and creative director. “We look at what people are into, which is how we wind up with references to pop culture, music or books. These days, the zodiac calendar is more prevalent, so we decided to create a menu for it.”
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Designed in a wheel format, the zodiac menu features 12 items — six drinks and six dishes, one for each sign. Each represents the sign’s inherent traits and also pairs with the sign across the wheel.
One of the most popular drinks so far has been the Scorpio, which features charred-tomato and scorpion-pepper mezcal, gin, lime, pineapple, coconut water and turmeric. The yellow-hued drink is served with a mini scorpion on top and a spiced rim.
In making the cocktail, the Apothecary team wanted to capture Scorpio’s intense, passionate nature, and potentially sharp bite, while also nodding to the water sign via the coconut water. Such thought went into every item on the menu.
The Aquarius cocktail features apple pisco, blueberry-almond syrup, egg white and bitters, a tribute to a sign known for being curious, intelligent, independent and worldly. With all that in mind, the Apothecary team made its Aquarius an appropriately international one, incorporating ingredients from Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Texas and California.
Moving onto the food, the Sagittarius dish is duck fat polenta-stuffed quail, served vertically with an arrow running through it to represent the constellation’s archer with a drawn bow. The Pisces dish is a crudo featuring two types of fish.
The themes continue, but across the 12 dishes and drinks, there’s a cohesion that incorporates snacks, small plates and an entree, plus shaken drinks, stirred drinks and a highball.
“Everything has to make sense. Drinks and dishes need to work together and stand alone,” says Agar. “That balance of factors has been fun for us. And since we started, I’ve sure learned a lot about astrology.”
The menu has proven popular with customers, who are eager to order their sign’s corresponding cocktail or dish, but usually wind up trying a handful of others, too. All 12 items are available each night, though one sign is featured each week during the menu’s 12-week run, which will come to a close in mid- to late November. Come in during your sign’s week (Apothecary posts details on Instagram), and you also get a free shot.
Even if you know nothing about astrology or the zodiac, everyone appreciates a free shot.
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