The Be Good or Be Gone
3365 India Street, San Diego
Opened in 1947 as a flyboy-and-gal joint by aviatrix Maryann Prophet, the Aero Club has made its mark for serving whiskey flights like they mean it.
“The thing about being a whiskey bartender is that whiskey has a large history in the U.S.,” says Chad Berkey, Aero Club’s general manager and head bartender. “As a bartender, you get to be a storyteller.”
Or, if a cocktail is more to your taste, Berkey can slide a Be Good or Be Gone before your gob and you’ll thank him twice — once before you’ve had the drink — and once after you’ve wondered why you hadn’t had one before.
“In the flavor profile, you get the citrus from the muddled lemon and lime,” he says, “but it’s balanced very well with the elderflower and the tropical notes from the St. Germain.”
After trial and error, Berkey discovered that Irish whiskey proves most amiable in the Be Good or Be Gone.
“The lighter whiskeys don’t dominate the flavors of the St. Germain,” he says. “It still works with bourbon or rye but it takes a lot of the intended flavor away.”
A sort of “Irefied” whiskey sour, the Be Good or Be Gone took its name from the bar’s ancient motto — splashed in fading white paint on a sliding door behind the bar and visible to patrons. The sign, Berkey notes, is a polite way to discourage Mr. Malarkey from sidling up to the 58-year-old copper-covered bar for a punch or a shot.
“We don’t tolerate a lot of nonsense here,” he says.
HOW TO MAKE IT
- 1 slice lemon
- 1 slice lime
- 1 ½ oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey
- ½ oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
- Splash sweet-and-sour Margarita mix
- Splash of soda water
Muddle citrus in cocktail shaker, add ice and remaining ingredients, shake and pour contents into 10 oz. lowball glass.