639 J Street, Downtown San Diego
According to the Fleetwood’s bar manager and head bartender Mike Garcia, the stirrers and shakers at the eatery have revamped the menu to accommodate good times and higher temperatures.
Bartending for 12 years, Garcia says that one of the staff favorites on the list, the Gentleman Smash, can be the basis for a beautiful friendship with summer.
“We have a neat little outdoor patio here at the Fleetwood,” he tells me. “So the Gentleman Smash is a good daytime drink that someone can enjoy, say, after a Padre game on a Sunday afternoon. Even though it’s made with bourbon, it’s very refreshing.”
The Gentleman Smash, an uncharacteristically light whiskey drink, is also an excellent entrée to the high society of cocktails. “It can introduce someone who doesn’t know much about mixed drinks to a classic cocktail,” Garcia says.
“You don’t want to be too overpowering with the lemon and the mint. You want to be able to taste the bourbon, but with an after-touch of lemon and mint. You want these, the lemon and mint, to add to the taste, but not be the taste.”
Kitchen proof: While the single-barrel Jack gives the Gentleman Smash its pedigree — a full oaken taste wandering among leaves and rinds — it’s the sour spiciness of the lemon/mint combination that keeps the taste light enough to enjoy in polite company.
- 1 1/2 oz. Gentleman Jack
- 3/4 oz Triple Sec
- 3 lemon wedges
- 5 mint leaves
- 1 dash simple syrup
- 1 splash club soda
In a bucket glass, muddle mint and lemon wedges with a dash of simple syrup and two cubes of ice, fill with ice to top of glass, add whiskey, Triple Sec, stir, top with club soda.