They’re not shaking up your average cocktails at Barley Vine in Bristol. Have you ever had a cocktail made with shrub? It's not what you think.
The Clydes’ Tale cocktail ($9) tastes like fall in a glass, rich in color and full of spices. A spin on the classic Knickerbocker, it’s made with shrub syrup. What is shrub? Watch the video to find out.
Behind the bar you'll find Khalid Williams using fresh, local ingredients and gathering inspiration from some of the most creative bartenders around to create flavorful drinks that you won’t forget.
Now in the biz for 12 years, his name is at the tip of people’s tongues when it comes to the craft cocktail scene in Connecticut.
Williams grew up in Connecticut and after a quick attempt at college in West Virginia realized it wasn't for him. He soon had a kid on the way and he got a job at Macaroni Grill, where he quickly became passionate about the many wines they had to offer. A move to Carmen Anthony in New Haven got him hooked on classic cocktails and working at Uncorked (now Vinted) in West Hartford took his knowledge to a whole new level.
A competitive bartender of sorts, he was a finalist in The Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender competition. "It's great because I get to do the most out-there, crazy, foolish recipe I want that day without worrying about cost. Even when I don't place, I take a lot away from what I see," Williams said.
Last year he won the Onyx Moonshine infusion Competition at their Great Gatsby party using local quince and sour pear. His secret? The three "L"s: Is it local, is it legendary, is it luminary?
Barley Vine, 182 Main St, Bristol, is open Tuesday through Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, 1 p.m. to midnight; and Sunday, 1 to 9 p.m. Information: 860-589-0239 and barleyvinect.com.
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