Have you already exhausted the menu at Julia Momose's speakeasy-esque Annex, the small bar tucked away beside GreenRiver? You're in luck—the bar will have a new menu debuting on Thursday night. We loved the spice-themed opening menu, but we'd be lying if we told you we weren't excited to see what other tricks Momose has up her sleeve.
The theme for Annex's latest cocktail menu is flowers—perfect for summer—and is set to run for about four months. Flowers will dominate the new menu, but each cocktail will feature a part of a flower or flowers in different stages of their lives. Momose says that the inspiration for her new drinks comes from the intense aromas (think lavender) and soft flavors of flowers.
One drink that she's very excited about is the Delicate Refusal, which features pickled sakura. "This cocktail is really celebrating spring," Momose said. "The end of cherry blossoms, when the flowers start to come through." The drink is laced with a tiny bit of sotol, tequila blanco, fino sherry, pamplemousse, pickled sakura, verjus blanc and finished with a spritz of Peychaud's Bitters. It's stirred, served up and poured over the pickled sakura, which unfurls and blossoms when the drink is poured over it.
There's also the Spindrift, inspired by two recent trips of Momose's—one to Japan and one to Martinique. While in Martinique, she drank loads of ti' punch. "[They] drink it because it'll wake you up, then at lunch you'll have ti' punch, one at dinner," Momose said. But they don't serve it with ice, partially because it's entirely too hot and partially because when you're by the ocean, you can taste the salt, which makes the punch better. Taking the idea of the salt coming into the punch, Momose concocted a Cascade hops–inspired cocktail with Nigori Sake, rhum agricole blanc, honeydew, lime, salt and pepper. It's garnished with an olive, to solidify the salt with the agricole and melon with the bitter hops.
On the more spirited end of the spectrum, the Nyquist (no doubt named after the Kentucky Derby winner) is made with rye gin, creole shrub, amontillado sherry, dill pollen and ginger ale, bringing a highball to the menu. Looks may be deceiving, as Momose has made this highball to pack a punch, appealing to both whiskey and gin drinkers. It's garnished with a lemon twisted to look like a horse's head and neck. Highballs and gin and tonics are special to Momose, perfecting how the ice melts and making it just right, making this cocktail one not to be overlooked (nor is the highball menu at GreenRiver).
The new cocktail list will boast 12 cocktails and is served the same way the spice menu was, in a wooden box with cards ordered from lighter and brighter in the front to more spirited and darker in the back. Momose says it's always good to have a guide and if you're just starting your night, to start at the front before ordering the cocktails in the back.
The new menu will be served starting on Thursday night, although those who fell in love with a cocktail from the first menu (I'll always love you, Social Bandit) may be able to relive an old favorite. Momose says that she'll stock a small amount of the house-made ingredients for cocktails from past menus. They may not always be available, but it never hurts to ask.