Anvil Bar & Refuge Is Finally Offering A Frozen Cocktail—Updated
After nine years, Anvil Bar & Refuge has added a blender to the back bar.
What is this world coming to? Are we soon in for Cosmopolitans and B-52 shots on the drink list, right next to the Anvil Pousse-Cafe?
Update, 10/5/2017, 10:18 a.m.: Well, yes, actually, we are in for Cosmopolitans. Anvil director of operations Terry Williams informed us that it has been added to the new cocktail list. It incorporates a housemade cranberry cocktail juice blend. He also says there’s now an Amaretto Sour “that will blow your mind.”
The blender doesn’t mean that Anvil is being haunted by a lingering ghost of the Daiquiri Factory. The true inspiration is that Anvil owner Bobby Heugel recently visited Cuba, where legendary bar El Floridita is about to turn 200 years old. (Take a moment to consider that there are 200-year-old bars. We’ll wait.)
It is said that El Floridita’s owner, Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, was the first to invent a blended (not shaken) daiquiri in the 1930s. (He also created Ernest Hemingway’s favored rendition of the drink.) Anvil is making their version of a blended daiquiri, so of course a blender is required.
What is not available, though, is Havana Club 3 Year Rum. That’s thanks to an embargo in the United States. So, to replicate that flavor, which is reputed to be bracingly high proof with a substantial vanilla finish, Anvil is blending four different rums together. The custom blend is also being used in mojitos (dare we say another throwback?) at both Anvil and downtown hideaway Tongue-Cut Sparrow.
Via press release, Heugel says, “Havana is incredibly inspiring to visit as a bartender. It’s inconceivable that a communist country under a U.S. embargo has maintained such a rich bartending heritage. When Cuba lost access to most of the world’s spirits, they just made their own versions to keep the art of bartending going until those spirits started to come back, as they have in recent years. Bartending means so much to those who do it, and they remain committed with so little.”
The Blended La Floridita Daiquiri debuted on October 1. Coming up on October 9, is Anvil’s “special” Columbus Day celebration. Don’t think that it’s some kind of homage to the famous explorer, though. It’s the third year that Anvil has called it “Christopher Columbus Was An Asshole” day. The special drink menu includes descriptions of some of his more heinous sins. The cocktails sound really good, though, including the $12 Gullywash with gin, condensed milk and coconut water, served in a whole coconut. Click here to view the full menu.
Rums from islands Columbus visited will be half-price (his bringing sugar cane to the Dominican Republic resulted in brutal slave labor needed to harvest it) and there’s a featured selection of “badass” sherries. Buy a glass of sherry; get a Spanish flag to “claim” it. Rounding out the Columbus Day “celebration” is a selection of classic Caribbean cocktails.
Visit the Anvil Bar & Refuge website to view the new, Cuba-inspired, seasonal menu. (By the way, take special note of the nod to Spain in the food section, a Lengua Pastrami sandwich on rye with slaw and gochujang aioli. We’d eat that.)
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.